The 3rd Annual Retrofit Canada Conference ran last month in Montreal, and feedback from speakers, sponsors, and attendees has been that this year's event set the tone for impactful change across the community.
The theme of this year’s event was: What market transformation is required to scale up and increase the pace of Canada’s retrofit sector? We explored the many aspects of this question throughout the two days, including the crucial elements of diversity and equity. The event included some critical perspectives from the private sector, which included multi-residential and commercial real estate developers who shared plans for increasing energy efficiency and decarbonizing their portfolios through deep energy retrofits.
This continues to be the only event specially designed for Canada’s retrofit sector, and we aim to provide an engaging, insightful, collaborative event for the community. We have received excellent feedback from you overall, but there is always room for improvement. Per your feedback, we aim to increase networking opportunities, interactivity, diversity, and actionable insights - all within a bigger venue.
You can review the Key Learnings from the 2023 Panel Discussions here. Please share them with your colleagues and peers across the retrofit community.
Review the recommendations generated from our 17 round tables at this year’s conference and share them with your colleagues and peers across the retrofit community. A sample of what you will find includes:
Industry update: Regulatory and policy tools to accelerate retrofit market transformation
Leaders: Karine Cazorla, Policy and Program Design Lead, Canada Green Building Strategy, Natural Resources Canada and
Matt Poirier, Director of Policy, Building Decarbonization Alliance (BDA)
- Empower municipalities: Some municipalities want to move faster on building decarbonization than their province, but they often don’t have the authority to put in place stronger policies (e.g., building code requirements, building performance standards).The Federal Government could explore their ability to give greater authority to municipalities who want to lead. Specific and standardized tools could also be developed to support them
- Educate citizens and enable homeowners to share their data: Benchmarking and building performance standards are important decarbonization policies that are only possible with access to utility consumption data (i.e., kWh, GJ). While privacy and confidentiality requirements rightfully limit the ability for this data to be shared to third parties, allowing homeowners to opt-in to share their homes’ consumption data would help the development of policies that lead to more decarbonization retrofits
- Develop a standardized tool / framework to integrate data sources: The other difficulty with building benchmarking is that relevant data sources come from multiple entities (e.g., electricity consumption from the electric utility, fossil fuel consumption from the fossil utility, building characteristics from the municipality). The Federal Government could develop an approach for these utilities to work together to share their data sources
- Explore additional alternatives to accelerate the transition by leveraging other stakeholders’ roles in the market. For example, regulating some practices from insurance institutions
You can view the rest of them by downloading the post-event report here.
2023 POST EVENT REPORT
Download the Post Event Report to view what you missed at the event, including testimonials, event stats, attendees, roundtable recommendations, and more.
2024 ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
Policy and Program Design Lead, Canada Green Building Strategy
Natural Resources Canada
We need to look at everything that goes into a building’s efficiency, from air sealing and insulation ... to high performance windows ... to space and water heating ... to energy recovery, renewable electricity generation and more. And we need to tap into the right expertise. All levels of government ... federal, provincial, territorial and municipal. Indigenous communities and organizations. Industry and labour and organizations that are leading the charge.
- Number one, we have to implement codes for climate and go strong on building codes.
- Number two, we need to launch a retrofit mission.
- Number three, we need to set standards for all existing buildings.
- Number four, we need efficiency for all and make sure no one is left behind.
- And number five, we have to regulate the rest.
- And we've moved the needle since last year but we have a long way to go.
In order to succeed, we need to change the paradigm, we need to change and think outside the box. We can't think outside the box if we keep on doing the same things.
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2023 ATTENDING COMPANIES
WHAT ATTENDEES SAID ABOUT 2023 EVENT
The Retrofit Canada conference was an exceptional event that shed light on the urgency of accelerating building retrofits in line with Canada's 2050 net-zero emissions goal. The discussions emphasized the industry's need for transformation to meet the ambitious annual retrofit targets, focusing on action-oriented strategies. Overall, the conference provided invaluable insights and practical solutions for driving sustainable change. Highly recommended for anyone committed to sustainable homes and buildings and the future of Canadian resiliency.
Retrofit Canada is the only group in Canada that brings together the building retrofit industry in one place. We are now at the tipping point: after the 3rd year of the conference, the buzz we’re creating is no longer going unnoticed. The conversations at Retrofit Canada are leading to collaboration like never before -- between private firms, society, stakeholders, and all levels of government. This is just the start of an up-and-coming industry that will bring incredible change to the Canadian built environment.
Fantastic opportunity for national professionals across sectors to connect, deliberate and co-refine critical insights on net zero development, as well as barriers and opportunities.
No single entity alone can achieve our ambitious goal. It is through collaboration, cooperation and the collective efforts of both sectors (public and private) that we can truly make a meaningful impact...we should grasp the potential, the catalyst for change...The journey towards achieving our 2030 targets requires us to embrace a startup mindset, foster change management, and mobilize key stakeholders...Together, let us seize this opportunity to shape the future of Retrofit in Canada and work towards a greener, more sustainable tomorrow.
Retrofit Canada was a great opportunity to share ideas, connect industry, and challenge discussions about how we take our existing buildings to be emissions neutral.
2023 EVENT HIGHLIGHTS