Supporting Home Retrofits

The City of Nanaimo (the City) and the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) are working on a community energy retrofit feasibility study to understand and support existing building energy efficiency and emission reduction retrofit financing options.   The study will help both governments understand low density residential greenhouse gas emissions sources and opportunities to reduce those emissions through building retrofit and financing programs.


To support the study, the City and RDN are encouraging home owners to complete a short survey about home owner needs, barriers, and preferences related to home energy efficiency upgrades.  This survey aims to collect feedback on ways that the City and the RDN can help homeowners pay for home energy improvements, such as installing energy-efficient windows, upgrading home heating and cooling systems, adding insulation, or installing solar panels. 


  • Progress
    In September 2022, the City and RDN were awarded up to $175,000 in funding from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to support a home energy financing study for the Nanaimo Region. The project was launched in April 2023, and includes the following key tasks:

    1. Energy and Emissions Inventory - An analysis of heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, energy     use, and GHG emissions in existing low-density residential buildings in the region.

    2. Building Type Analysis - An analysis of energy and carbon intensity and best path to reducing emissions and improving energy efficiency in terms of quick wins for between 5 to 10 building types.  Buildings types will be based on building size, age, and number of units.

    3. Barrier Identification - Identify financial and non-financial barriers discouraging or preventing homeowners from installing energy efficient and low-carbon upgrades, specific to the building archetypes identified and their neighbourhood contexts.  Barriers will be considered through an equity lens.

    4. Evaluate Financing Options - Identify financing options available for home energy and carbon reduction retrofits.

    We are currently working on steps one and two.
  • Documents
  • Details
  • Background

    The City of Nanaimo declared a Climate Emergency in 2019 and has set aggressive greenhouse gas reduction targets (by 2030: 50 to 58% below 2010 GHG levels; by 2050: 94 to 107% below 2010), including from buildings. Buildings and infrastructure account for 31% of Nanaimo’s community GHG emissions. Residential buildings make up approximately 42% of those emissions.  Climate emission impact studies done in support of City Plan (the City’s recently adopted comprehensive plan) indicate building retrofits as one of the highest impact areas the City can focus on to reduce emissions.   In order to meet the City’s emission reduction targets, the City and local residents need to take greater action to energy efficiency and emissions of existing buildings.

    The City and the RDN depend on resident action for meeting community climate targets. The City currently provides renovation top-up amounts through the provincial CleanBC fund and the RDN has run a Green Building rebate program and outreach program since 2012. 

    Click here to learn more about City of Nanaimo Home Energy Rebate offers.

    Residents can reduce their residential building emissions by:

    • Making the switch from high carbon heating fuel sources such as natural gas or oil to high efficiency electric heat pumps or other solar or electric energy sources.
    • Getting an Energy Audit done to learn how to improve the energy efficiency of their home.  Learn more about the City’s Energy Audit Rebate here.
    • Adding a smart thermostat to help improve comfort and save money on energy bills.
    • Replacing doors, windows, or sliding glass doors with ENERGY STAR® certified models.
    • Upgrading eligible attic, cathedral ceiling, flat roof, exterior wall, exposed floor, basement, and crawl space insulation.

    Rebates are available from the Provincial and Federal government for most of the above suggested upgrades; however, due to rising prices on just about everything, we realize home owners need more help to address financial and non-financial barriers in order to make these upgrades.  This study will help the City and RDN understand where best to invest our resources to support residents in overcoming these barriers and ensure that we are providing supports that work for our residents.

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