2021 Budget – green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic

2021 Budget – green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic

Lower Home Energy Bills Through Interest-free Loans for Retrofits

Climate action starts at home, and deep home energy retrofits can have a big effect on emissions reduction. The 2020 Fall Economic Statement put forward a program to provide Canadians with one million free energy audits and up to 700,000 grants, valued at up to $5,000, to complete energy efficient home improvements. To help homeowners and build on these measures:

  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $4.4 billion on a cash basis ($778.7 million on an accrual basis over five years, starting in 2021-22, with $414.1 million in future years), to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to help homeowners complete deep home retrofits through interest-free loans worth up to $40,000. Loans would be available to homeowners and landlords who undertake retrofits identified through an authorized EnerGuide energy assessment. In combination with available grants announced in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, this would help eligible participants make deeper, more costly retrofits that have the biggest impact in reducing a home’s environmental footprint and energy bills. This program will also include a dedicated stream of funding to support low-income homeowners and rental properties serving low-income renters, including cooperatives and not-for-profit owned housing.

The program would be available by summer 2021. It is estimated that more than 200,000 households would take advantage of this opportunity.

Examples of deep retrofits to make our homes greener

  • Replacing oil furnaces or low-efficiency systems with a high efficiency furnace, air source heat pump, or geothermal heat pump.
  • Better wall or basement insulation and/or wall or roof panels.
  • Installing a high-efficiency water heater or on-site renewable energy like solar panels.
  • Replacing drafty windows and doors.

Accelerating Canada’s Net-zero Transformation Through Innovation

The Net Zero Accelerator, launched in the government’s strengthened climate plan last December, will help build and secure Canada’s clean industrial advantage. By investing in decarbonizing large emitters, transforming key sectors—from steel and aluminium to cement—and accelerating the adoption of clean technology across the economy–for example, the auto and aerospace sectors–the Net Zero Accelerator will spur Canada’s shift to innovative net-zero technologies and attract the large-scale investments needed to meet our goal of net-zero by 2050.

  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $5 billion over seven years (cash basis), to the Net Zero Accelerator. Building on the support for the Net Zero Accelerator announced in the strengthened climate plan, this funding would allow the government to provide up to $8 billion of support for projects that will help reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions across the Canadian economy.

Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage

Fighting climate change, and reaching net-zero, requires Canadians and Canadian industry to reduce the harmful greenhouse gases in the atmosphere in as many ways as possible. Carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) is an important tool for reducing emissions in high emitting sectors. It uses advanced technologies to capture carbon dioxide emissions from fuel combustion, industrial processes, or directly from the air. The captured carbon can then be stored deep underground, or used to create new and innovative products. CCUS is the only currently available technology with the potential to generate negative emissions.

Canada is a leader in CCUS, with domestic projects that currently captures 4 megatonnes of carbon every year, but we have the technical and geological capacity to capture and store much more.

  • Budget 2021 proposes to introduce an investment tax credit for capital invested in CCUS projects, with the goal of reducing emissions by at least 15 megatonnes of CO2 annually. This measure will come into effect in 2022.

The government will move quickly with a 90-day consultation period with stakeholders on the design of the investment tax credit, after which it will announce more details—including the rate of the incentive. It is not intended that the investment tax credit be available for Enhanced Oil Recovery projects. The government intends to make the credit available for direct air capture projects.

  • Budget 2021 also proposes to provide $319 million over seven years, starting in 2021-22, with $1.5 million in remaining amortization, to Natural Resources Canada to support research, development, and demonstrations that would improve the commercial viability of carbon capture, utilization, and storage technologies.

Taken together, these proposed measures related to CCUS will help Canada achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, and position Canada as a leader in supplying cleaner energy and innovative new technologies around the world.  

Growing Zero-emission Technology Manufacturing

As more countries commit to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, the demand for zero-emission technology will only grow.

To create jobs and support the growth of clean technology manufacturing in Canada:

  • Budget 2021 proposes to reduce—by 50 per cent—the general corporate and small business income tax rates for businesses that manufacture zero-emission technologies. The reductions would go into effect on January 1, 2022, and would be gradually phased out starting January 1, 2029 and eliminated by January 1, 2032.

These proposed tax rate reductions will enhance Canada’s competitiveness in attracting investment in zero-emission technology manufacturing, while also supporting existing businesses in the sector.

In addition, the government will undertake an analysis to ensure that Canada keeps pace with the U.S. and other jurisdictions in providing the appropriate tax structures and incentives to encourage clean economy businesses to invest, grow, and deploy solutions here in Canada.


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