Calgary homeowners looking to get some help retrofitting their home to be more energy efficient will soon be able to get that help from their property taxes.
Approved by the city council on Monday, the Clean Energy Improvement Program covers up to $50,000 on those renos, repaid on property tax bills for up to 25 years at the same interest rate. The rate the city will pay on loans that fund the program. .
Eligible innovations include smart thermostats, improved insulation, more efficient main units, replacement of doors or windows, and solar power generation systems.
Mayor Jyoti Gondek said many Calgarians have expressed interest in this type of program.
“A lot of people have emailed and have come to see us at our public presentations and about being able to leverage some of the dollars through their property taxes for additions and home changes. their. This is definitely something that consumers care about and we want that to happen for them.”
City officials estimate about 720 homes will be able to participate in the program’s first run.
Funding comes from a combination of loans and grants: $5 million in funding from the Federation of Canadian Cities (FCM), $10 million in loan from FCM, and $5 million in internal loan .
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“The Clean Energy Improvement Program is Alberta’s version of clean energy grants or PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy), where a municipality leverages the property tax collection mechanism to facilitate reimburses for funded clean energy improvement activities,” said Dick Ebersohn, the city’s manager for climate change and the environment.
“It will support energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades in residential areas, it will reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions, and generate economic growth in the appliance industry. energy in Calgary and the surrounding area.”
Ebersohn says signing up for the program and reducing emissions will be key success metrics.
Ward 14. Peter Demong said.
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Local environmental groups support the idea and its low barrier to entry for homeowners.
“Access to low-cost financing is one of the barriers that homeowners who want to control their utility bills face, and this program will help some homeowners be more resilient to shocks. from energy prices and climate events over the coming decades,” program of the Alberta Ecotrust Foundation Expert Jessica Lajoie told the council, noting that Toronto’s energy retrofit program is funded by one of nine ways the city helps homeowners in this process.
A representative for the Calgary Climate Hub called the program “a really good first step”.
“In 2020, residential buildings account for 29% of GHG emissions (in Calgary), while other building types including commercial, industrial and institutional buildings account for 38%, buildings alone. trade accounts for 28%,” said climate center co-president Joan Lawrence.
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“It is clear that the program will need to be expanded to accommodate more residences and to address emissions from other types of buildings. This is a huge undertaking, and while in Calgary every day, we are still building homes and other structures that will add to our emissions. ”
The City Council approved the program on a 14-1 vote, with Ward 4 Coun. Sean Chu is the only opponent.
The Clean Energy Improvement Program is expected to begin in the fall of 2022 as a pilot program.
–With files from Adam MacVicar, Global News
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https://globalnews.ca/news/8429188/energy-retrofit-loan-program-calgary/ Energy retrofit loan program approved by the city council of Calgary – Calgary