Canadian energy advisor recruitment, training and mentorship programme

Last updated: 2 August 2023

 To support new programmes for the transition to a low-carbon economy, the government of Canada is taking steps to offer skills and training in various areas of clean energy sectors. Natural Resources Canada is leading the recruitment and training of EnerGuide energy advisors to meet increased demand for home retrofits following the launch in May 2021 of the Canada Greener Homes Initiatives. The programme aims to help 700 000 homeowners upgrade energy efficiency on their properties. The initiative offers grants of up to CAD 5 000 for eligible home retrofits, a maximum CAD 600 toward the cost of EnerGuide evaluations, and from CAD 5 000 to 40 000 in interest-free loans to undertake major renovations that increase energy efficiency. To ensure that planned upgrades improve energy efficiency and homeowners know about their options, a trained advisor is required to conduct a pre-retrofit and post-retrofit EnerGuide home energy evaluation. As such, energy advisors are a critical component of the initiative.

To complement the Greener Homes Initiatives, the government launched the Energy Advisor (EA) Recruitment, Training and Mentorship campaign that includes a special focus on increasing the diversity and representation of the existing energy advisor workforce, particularly for Indigenous peoples. It will provide CAD 10 million over five years to support innovative projects and attract experienced partners, with at least 10% of this funding directed towards Indigenous governments. The focus will include projects targeting underserved areas of the country, such as in the northern region as well as rural and Indigenous communities more broadly. It also prioritises projects for under-represented groups, which include women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, racialised individuals and individuals who identify as LGBTQ+. The programme aims to partner with organisations across the country to provide practical handson training and mentorship opportunities as well as help prepare candidates, including those from under-represented groups, to pass the exams required to become energy advisors.

The programme is divided into five project categories with specific criteria. To be eligible for funding in the first round of bidding, the project proposals were required to support at least one of the following categories: training, mentorship, recruitment, upskilling and professional development, and accessibility of EnerGuide evaluations.

The first call for proposals closed on 8 July 2021, with a total of CAD 9.1 million allocated to 18 organisations that will help recruit, train and mentor 850 new energy advisors across Canada and upskill 110 existing ones. It is part of a larger five-year plan to train an additional 2 000 energy advisors.

The first round of funding awarded includes CAD 1.15 million to SaskPower in Saskatchewan, CAD 675 000 to NorQuest College in Alberta, CAD 624 000 to the Government of Yukon, and CAD 227 000 to EnviroCentre in Ontario.

As part of the government’s commitment to support Indigenous communities, five out of 17 projects awarded (around CAD 4.4 million) will organise, train, recruit and mentor rural and Indigenous peoples across Canada. For example, the Indigenous Clean Energy (ICE) Social Enterprise project will recruit, train and mentor 15 Indigenous Champions from across Canada to become registered EAs. Elsewhere, the Temiskaming Native Women’s Support Group project will also recruit, train and mentor Indigenous women in Northern Ontario to become registered EAs. At the same time the programme will also provide support to address existing barriers such as travel, childcare, and stipends as well be informed and supports the goals of the trainees. Equally, their project will include a training programme for industry partners on mentoring and providing safe and supportive work environments for Indigenous women. 

Another, separate, government initiative is funding the development of the DiscoverEE Hub, which is an online portal to help Canadians join the energy efficiency industry and become energy advisors. The hub was designed and is operated in partnership with Efficiency Canada. 

Want to know more about this policy ? Learn more