What Are We Asking?
The City of Saskatoon is developing a Home Energy Loan Program for Saskatoon residents. Through this program, loans would be provided by the City to be used for energy efficiency retrofits and energy generation on residential properties. This financing is different than a regular loan as it is tied to a property, not an individual, and therefore has no impact on credit ratings, mortgage limits or other individual debt limits. Loans would be paid back to the City through property taxes.
This information sheet summarizes the proposed Home Energy Loan Program.
How Can You Give Us Your Input?
Closing the Loop - Stakeholder Survey
An online survey is being held from April 15 to April 29 for industry stakeholders and subject matter experts to provide their feedback on the final program considerations for the Home Energy Loan Program, as well as the opportunities and barriers for the Renewable Energy Strategy. We estimate the survey will take just over 15 minutes to complete and can be found here.
Current Program Design
The recommended program design was developed using what we heard throughout the public engagement activities, best practice research from similar Canadian property tax loan programs, and a review of similar programs already available in Saskatoon. This process included:
- Reviewing of program design options through public and stakeholder engagement opportunities.
- The design was refined and evaluated by an internal steering committee and working group of experts.
- Program elements were also evaluated to ensure they complied with the eligibility requirements for a new federal grant/loan program from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
The program design will be presented to City Council in February 2021. If approved the program will go through implementation planning and bylaw development before it can be launched. The target launch timeline is Summer 2021.
Below are the recommended program design for the Home Energy Loan Program:
|Program Administrator||City of Saskatoon administers the program|
|Program Name||Home Energy Loan Program (HELP)|
|Participant Eligibility||Single-family residential property owners|
|Project Eligibility||Energy efficiency projects, renewable energy installations, water conservation projects, and other projects. See the full list of allowable projects under the heading “Project Eligibility”.|
|Use of Energy Audits||Pre & post audits required. A grant or subsidy can be used to assist with audit cost, especially for income-qualified households. Audit cost can be included in the HELP Loan.|
|Qualified Contractor List||Contractor list established by the City but residents do not have to choose a contractor from the list and do-it-yourself projects are allowed.|
|Contractor List Requirements||To be on the contractor list, contractors must have a Workplace Compensation Board number, general liability insurance of at least $2M, be a registered corporation in Saskatchewan, and have completed training on the loan program.|
|Contractor Payment||The City will pay contractors directly.|
|Loan Repayment Terms and Fixed or Variable Loan Amount||Flexible repayment term of 5, 10, or 20 years; Fixed max loan amount (not tied to property value).|
|Loan Amount per Household||Minimum $1,000, maximum $40,000 with the ability to increase maximum loan up to $60,000 if participant can demonstrate that 50% of more energy efficiency can be achieved relative to pre-retrofit performance.|
|Interest rates & Admin Fees||Residents pay a fixed admin fee of $350 to $600 plus interest equal to the interest rate paid by the City.|