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Calgary gets $15 million for home energy retrofit finance program

Calgary homeowners will benefit from a cash boost to a national green fund that will help them lend money for home energy retrofits.

Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, and Taneen Rudyk, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), announced a $25.6 million investment in four Alberta municipalities, delivered through the Community Efficiency Financing (CEF) initiative.

Calgary will receive $15 million, joining St. Albert, Lethbridge and Canmore as recipients.

This money will allow cities to have a program that allows lending to homeowners for green energy projects. That money can be repaid by homeowners via their property tax bills.

“As we move forward, the Government of Canada very much shares the ambition of the City of Calgary in unlocking economic opportunities that deliver a clean environment and sustainable jobs right here in Calgary but across Alberta,” said Minister Wilkinson.

Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek said that two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions in the city are caused through heating, lighting and the power demand for buildings.  She said Calgarians are committed to building a climate resilient community.

Details on how Calgarians can access the program will be made available in the coming weeks. The mayor said she expects it will be launched by the end of the year.

“When it comes to this type of a program, our ability to borrow through the mechanisms that we have in place without burdening municipalities is a great tool. To have $15 million to be able to access a program like this is even better,” the mayor said.

“This will make a significant impact on the lives of Calgarians who wish to take action on home improvements.”

December bylaw opened the door for Clean Energy Improvement Program

On Dec. 6, 2021, Calgary city council approved the Clean Energy Improvement Bylaw. It authorized the city to borrow money to finance citizens’ clean energy home upgrades. They were also going to apply for a grant from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities for another $5 million.

The bylaw also allows for lent money to be repaid via property tax.

Mayor Gondek said this funding will go a long way towards providing flexible financing for homeowners that want to complete energy upgrades.

“It will help to reduce their carbon footprint and it will help homeowners to save money,” the mayor said.

It’s a wonderful day for Calgarians that are already embarking on this work and who have been looking to gain some sort of assistance.”

The mayor said city administration would be looking at how they can make the program equitable.

“They’re looking at inclusivity, they’re making sure that everyone has access to this program and they will design it in a way that the application process doesn’t weed anyone out unnecessarily,” she said.