By Kenyon Stronski
The world is changing, and with it, the way energy is utilized. Clean, or, ‘green’ energy has been the topic of discussion for a few years now and many municipalities have adopted or installed ways to lower their carbon emissions; walking down the road of becoming net-zero.
Blake Hranac, Taber’s Municipal Energy manager appeared before council at their June 16 meeting to bring forth one such initiative.
“I am here today to inform you guys of the Clean Energy Improvement Program (CEIP) and bring you guys up to speed on the program. The program is Alberta’s approach to Property Assessed Clean Energy financial or PACE financing they provide financing to residential and non-residential property owners to make renewable energy upgrades and repayment is through the regular property tax bill. This type of financing can encourage property owners to make multiple upgrades at one time. Eligible projects include furnace or boiler replacement, hot water tank, solar PV, insulation, high-efficiency windows, and high-efficiency doors,” said Hranac, “If the homeowner sells the property, the upgrades are tied to the property and not the homeowner. If the homeowner sells the property before the repayment is completed, then the new owner will continue repayment and retain the renovations. Those who are participating in the CEIP program so far is the Town of Rocky Mountain House, the Town of Devon, and the City of Edmonton all enrolled. There’s also quite a list that have CEIP in development, it is a fairly new program.”
Hranac continued, saying in 2020, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) launched the Community Efficiency Financing (CEF) program which would then allocate $300 million in financing to support the program across Canada. The Program Capitalization Stream would then offer a loan for the financial requirements of the program up to $10 million at around a two per cent interest rate.
“Through the CEF stream, there is also a grant available to cover program administration costs for up to four years. This includes municipal staff time, program administrator costs, and marketing costs. The grant value is up to 50 per cent of the total program financing provided by FCM, so if we receive $4 million in financing we would receive up to $2 million to cover the financing costs. The Alberta Municipal Services Corporation (AMSC) is the provincial CEIP program administrator, and they serve as a hub for municipalities, qualified contractors and property owners participating in CEIP. The AMSC supports municipalities in the program with bylaw development and manages the majority of the program administration responsibilities. Basically, once it’s set up, everything goes through their web portal and Taber is hands-off for the most part.”
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