CMHC Support for Deep Energy Retrofits

  26 June 2023

CMHC recently announced the  Canada Greener Affordable Housing program (CGAH). The program focuses on supporting deep energy retrofits for existing multi-unit residential buildings. The goal is to see buildings achieve near net zero emissions.

There are two streams for this program:

  • a Pre-Retrofit Stream, focused on energy audits, energy modelling and supporting studies, providing a (non-repayable) contribution of up to $130,000 per project; and
  • a Retrofit Stream, for applicants with qualifying projects that would see a 70% reduction (or more) in energy consumption and 80% reduction (or more) in greenhouse gas emissions. The retrofit stream can offer up to $170,000 per unit (with up to half being a forgivable loan).

As with all CMHC programs, there are multiple eligibility criteria, but the most critical are the very ambitious targets for energy consumption reductions and emissions.

The program will run for several years but has limited windows for funding applications. In practice, interested co-ops would very likely need to pursue the Pre-Retrofit stream before taking on an application for Retrofit support directly. This Retrofit Stream does require a Level 3 energy audit, which goes beyond what co-ops have commissioned up to this point.

You can learn more from resources that CMHC has provided online:

The first promising application window for Pre-Retrofit support is between November 1, 2023, and January 31, 2024. (There is a Retrofit application window between mid-September and mid-December 2023, but we don’t anticipate co-ops in BC will be ready to take advantage of it. Fortunately, the program will continue over several years and a successful Pre-Retrofit applications would place a co-op in a good position for a follow-up Retrofit application).

For additional questions, we recommend reaching out directly to CMHC at

Clients of CHF BC’s asset management planning program should reach out to the AMP team for more. All co-ops are encouraged to look at CHF BC’s FREE energy benchmarking program, which can assist with setting up profiles on Energy Star Portfolio Manager (ESPM). ESPM data is also a prerequisite for the CGAH Retrofit Stream.