In a time when green programs are being cut in the country’s most populous areas, any bit of news about funding to improve energy efficiency is welcome.
The government of Canada recently announced $5.75 million in grants and loans through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund. The grants and loans will go toward retrofitting four multi-unit residential buildings in Toronto and Hamilton.
"Energy efficiency saves money, creates jobs and reduces pollution,” says The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources. “Our government will continue to work with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to make Toronto and Hamilton's buildings more energy efficient. Together, we are lowering buildings' energy costs and maintenance requirements while contributing to Canada's clean energy future."
The Atmospheric Fund will lead the project, retrofitting buildings with energy efficient heating, cooling, and lighting systems, as well as water saving fixtures, and other energy efficient systems.
"With nearly half of the urban carbon emissions associated with buildings, we need practical, commercial-scale approaches to achieve deep energy retrofits,” says Julia Langer, Chief Executive Officer of The Atmospheric Fund. “This strategic federal investment will do just that, and demonstrate the financial, environmental and social benefits."
The energy efficient retrofit project will reduce energy consumption by 40%, which will lower the buildings’ carbon footprint, cut down monthly bills, and improve the overall comfort for residents. Designing and building energy efficient homes makes so much sense, it’s odd to us that more effort isn’t spent on creating green, sustainable communities.
This initiative is in line with Toronto’s TransformTO Climate Action Strategy, which is aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the city by 80% by 2050.
"I am pleased that the federal government has come forward with funding towards this important project,” says John Tory, Mayor of Toronto. “Investing in green infrastructure will positively impact the lives of residents and the environment. Future retrofits helped by this new investment will ensure that we are addressing climate change and reducing our carbon footprint as a city."
When Doug Ford was elected Premier of Ontario, one of his first acts was the scrap the Green Energy Act, which included the cancellation of 750 renewable energy contracts. Ontario also challenged the federal carbon tax. If we expect more new residential developments to have energy efficient features, we may have to rely on federal funding.