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Natural Resources Minister Seamus O'Regan responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Feb. 17, 2020.

Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

The federal government is looking to train 2,000 more people to do energy audits as it tries to get a new green home renovation program off the ground.

Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan says the government will provide up to $10-million in contracts to recruit, train and mentor 2,000 energy advisers to advise people how to cut their home energy use.

The government is issuing a call for proposals Monday to anyone wanting to take on the job of training and recruiting the new workers.

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They will then help provide the energy audits and advice needed for the Canada Greener Homes Grant to work.

The program unveiled last fall, but not yet launched, is to provide up to $5,000 grants to homeowners to make upgrades that curb their energy use, but requires a registered energy adviser to do a pre-renovation assessment and then a post-renovation evaluation.

It is but a mere fraction of the $40,000, interest-free loan program for home-energy retrofits Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised during the 2019 federal election.

The recent federal budget promised $4.4-billion over the next five years to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, which will administer those $40,000 loans.

O’Regan would provide no details Monday on how the loans and grants will be different, saying Canadians should stay tuned because he didn’t want to “scoop” himself.

But he said the 2,000 new energy advisers will be needed for the loan program, which should be ready this summer. The $5,000 grants will be ready to launch first.

“We need to train more because I think very soon we will be announcing an ambitious greener homes initiative and it is going to affect thousands of Canadians,” O’Regan said.

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“And we know that energy advisers are going to be in demand. Recruiting up to 2,000 more of them right across the country is a very good investment for what’s coming down the pipe on the greener homes announcements.”

All buildings in Canada, including homes, private businesses and public buildings, contribute almost one-fifth of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions each year, largely from the fuels used for heating and electricity.

Energy retrofits could include installing better windows, improving insulation, upgrading to a more efficient furnace or adding solar panels.

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