City council approves energy efficient loans to help homeowners

Calgary homeowners will be able to get financial assistance in 2022 as they try to make their homes more energy efficient.

On Monday, city council approved the Clean Energy Improvement Program, or CEIP.

It will allow homeowners to apply for low-interest loans of up to $ 50,000 from the city, which they can add to their property tax bills and pay off over 15 years.

The list of potential projects includes things like adding solar panels, increasing insulation, upgrading existing windows, or purchasing a tankless hot water system.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities would provide Calgary with a low-interest loan of $ 10 million for the program along with a grant of $ 5 million.

The city will either borrow an additional $ 5 million or choose to fund this amount internally to supplement the funding for the program.

Over the course of the four-year pilot, the $ 20 million program is expected to help 720 homeowners meet the cost of the improvements.

The goal is to get homeowners to do the work, which will help lower their utility bills, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and create work for the approved contractors who will do the work.

The demand is there

Mayor Jyoti Gondek said Calgarians have asked for a way to help cover the cost of these types of upgrades.

“There are a lot of people who have emailed and people who have come to see us at public presentations to be able to leverage some of the money from their property taxes to make additions and changes to their property. own home, ”Gondek said.

The Board approved the proposed program by a vote of 14-1. Conn. Sean Chu voted against but provided no reason during the debate why he opposed the plan.

Jessica Lajoie of the Alberta Eco-Trust Foundation supports the program.

She said the loans would help people cover the cost of these upgrades.

Solar-powered rooftops could be a more common picture of the future if Calgarians take advantage of the Clean Energy Retrofit Program. (Yuriko Nakao / Reuters)

“Access to low-cost financing is one of the barriers faced by homeowners who want to control their utility bills,” said Lajoie.

“This program will help some Calgarians better withstand energy price shocks and weather events over the coming decades. “

Similar programs already exist elsewhere in Canada.

Edmonton as well as the cities of Devon and Rocky Mountain House are slightly ahead of Calgary in the process of implementing this program.

The city administration still has work to do before the rollout of Calgary’s CEIP program.

It is estimated that the city may start receiving applications from Calgarians in the fall of 2022.

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