New home energy retrofit financing for Saskatoon
October 12, 2022 By Staff
Ottawa has announced a $11.1-million investment through the Community Efficiency Financing (CEF) initiative to help implement a home energy retrofit financing program in Saskatoon, Sask.
The Saskatoon Home Energy Loan Program is the first Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program in the province, designed to support retrofits for single-family homes by allowing repayment of loans through the property tax system.
The program will provide financing for homeowners to undertake a range of measures, including energy efficiency upgrades, renewable energy installations, water conservation measures, electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, and battery storage technology.
“We are working with partners across Saskatchewan to deliver greener buildings and support sustainable economic growth. Today’s announcement with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities will help deliver more efficient and comfortable homes that will lower bills for Canadian families, take action against climate change and create good jobs for workers. The Government of Canada is pleased to support these initiatives,” says Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources.
The program includes further support for low-income households: waiving its fixed administrative fee, providing certain services and equipment upgrades free of charge, and offering additional rebates. Through its partnership with SaskPower, the city will further support low-income participation in the existing Energy Assistance Program, which offers energy coaching and low-cost upgrades specifically to low-income households. Supporting more than 400 home retrofit projects, this investment is expected to support 230-430 local jobs in the construction and skilled trade sectors over the four-year implementation of the program. Additionally, the program will encourage Indigenous businesses to participate in the pre-vetted qualified contractor list for the program.
“Municipalities are on the front lines of climate change and climate action, and communities of all sizes are showing climate leadership at a time when we need it most. The Green Municipal Fund empowers them to get results on the ground. We deliver results with our federal partners – supporting cities like Saskatoon build a greener, more sustainable community, create jobs and helping Canadians make their homes more comfortable and affordable. Together, we are on the path to net-zero,” says Mairin Loewen, member of FCM Board of Directors and councillor, City of Saskatoon.
The implementation of the Saskatoon Home Energy Loan Program follows a successful feasibility study, which received a $102,750 grant through the Green Municipal Fund’s (GMF) Community Efficiency Financing initiative to explore various program options and design a PACE residential financing program. The first intake of the loan program was extremely popular and now has a waitlist. The city will consider additional enhancements to the program to better serve homeowners.
The Community Efficiency Financing initiative is offered through the Green Municipal Fund (GMF) delivered by FCM and funded by the Government of Canada. CEF helps communities of all sizes implement innovative local financing programs that directly help homeowners cut their greenhouse gas emissions, make their homes more energy-efficient, comfortable and affordable, while creating local jobs and keeping the local economy moving.
This initiative is one of the ways GMF continues to build on its 20-year record of supporting transformative environmental initiatives at the community level. The Government of Canada has invested $1.65 billion in the GMF since its inception, enabling municipalities to support projects like this that will leverage local resources to drive innovative solutions.
“It’s critically important to have everyone in the climate fight. Municipalities across Canada are doing their part with innovative solutions that create jobs and climate resilience. Green infrastructure investments in Canadian communities will make our air cleaner, our economy stronger, and set us on the path to a net-zero future,” says Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
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