The Changemakers Program

Be a Changemaker!

The Changemakers Program is our free neighborhood support program for Pocket homeowners doing retrofits - anything from installing attic insulation or a heat pump to deeper retrofits that involve most of your home. It is run by knowledgeable Pocket Change volunteers who have experience with retrofits, and guided by the building science expertise of Pocket neighbour and Retrofit Coach Paul Dowsett, one of Canada's leading sustainable architects.

Think of us as a bridge. If you know nothing about retrofits and green home technologies, we can help you close the gap between layperson and expert knowledge. We help to get you up to speed with the basics you need to know before moving forward with technical services from energy advisors, installers and contractors. As an example, we may not be able to size a heat pump for you, but we can tell you some of the basic things you need to know when you start thinking about one.

To join the Changemakers program or ask us a question about it, please email [email protected]

Program benefits:

  • Networking and peer-to-peer support from other neighbours, for example, at our regular (every few months) Changemaker Social gatherings in the Pocket (usually in a neighbour's house or backyard).
  • Retrofit tools, information and resources that we share directly with our Changemakers.
  • The support of all of us at the Pocket Change Project, and particularly from your own personal Retrofit Coordinator! Our Retrofit Coordinators are Changemakers themselves and are there if you have any questions or need help troubleshooting something.
  • A solid plan of action for your work, which we call a retrofit roadmap. We make sure you have a plan in place to guide your retrofit. A good plan will help you save money (by avoiding costly mistakes and making sure you get all the rebates and loans you qualify for), help you to maximize your budget and your emissions reductions, and help you to address your - and your home's - needs. Check out our Retrofit Advisors page for a list of organizations who can help you with energy audits and a retrofit roadmap.

The Changemakers program also gives you...

  • The chance to inspire others by what you are doing. We give you a lawn sign when you start your work, and it's amazing how much this encourages other Pocket neighbours to start thinking about retrofits too.
  • The chance to take meaningful climate action - as our homes are one of the biggest sources of our personal climate footprints/
  • The chance to help out Pocket Change. As more homeowners join this program, the real data we can put together about all the good work they are doing and share this growing interest in retrofits with other Pocket neighbours, governments, and other decision-makers.
  • The chance to....
    • have a much more comfortable home when you are done, with lower utility bills.
    • make your home more resilient to extreme weather and climate shocks (with better cooling, battery back-up, and solar power for example)
    • increase the value of your home, because over time, all homeowners in Toronto will be required to report their home's energy efficiency ratings when they sell them, and buyers will be increasingly looking for homes that have the latest energy-saving and climate-resilient upgrades.

How do I qualify?

To be a Changemaker, you need to:

  • Own a home
  • Live in The Pocket (see boundaries here)
  • Have an energy audit (see our list of advisors who provide this service)
  • Have a plan for your retrofit (a retrofit roadmap we call it, see above) - we recommend getting a professional retrofit service to help with your plan (it's a very small investment, and worth it), but you can also do your own research and put together your own plan.
  • And that's it! 

Pocket Changemakers, March 2024