Helping Canadians upgrade their homes to be more energy-efficient fights climate change, creates good jobs and helps save on monthly bills.
The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister for PrairiesCan, and Minister for CanNor, on behalf of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, and Mairin Loewen, member of the Board of Directors of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and councillor at the City of Saskatoon, today announced a $11.1-million investment through the Community Efficiency Financing (CEF) initiative to help implement a home energy retrofit financing program in the City of Saskatoon.
The Saskatoon Home Energy Loan Program is the first Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program in the province, designed to support retrofits for single-family homes by allowing repayment of loans through the property tax system. The program will provide financing for homeowners to undertake a range of measures, including energy efficiency upgrades, renewable energy installations, water conservation measures, electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, and battery storage technology.
The program includes further support for low-income households: waiving its fixed administrative fee, providing certain services and equipment upgrades free of charge, and offering additional rebates. Through its partnership with SaskPower, the city will further support low-income participation in the existing Energy Assistance Program, which offers energy coaching and low-cost upgrades specifically to low-income households. Additionally, the program will encourage Indigenous businesses to participate in the pre-vetted qualified contractor list for the program.
The implementation of the Saskatoon Home Energy Loan Program follows a successful feasibility study, which received a $102,750 grant through the Green Municipal Fund’s (GMF) Community Efficiency Financing initiative to explore various program options and design a PACE residential financing program. The first intake of the loan program was extremely popular and now has a waitlist. The city will consider additional enhancements to the program to better serve homeowners.
The Community Efficiency Financing initiative is offered through the Green Municipal Fund (GMF) delivered by FCM and funded by the Government of Canada. CEF helps communities of all sizes implement innovative local financing programs that directly help homeowners cut their greenhouse gas emissions, make their homes more energy-efficient, comfortable and affordable, while creating local jobs and keeping the local economy moving.
This initiative is one of the ways GMF continues to build on its 20-year record of supporting transformative environmental initiatives at the community level. The Government of Canada has invested $1.65 billion in the GMF since its inception, enabling municipalities to support projects like this that will leverage local resources to drive innovative solutions.
“We are working with partners across Saskatchewan to deliver greener buildings and support sustainable economic growth. Today’s announcement with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities will help deliver more efficient and comfortable homes that will lower bills for Canadian families, take action against climate change and create good jobs for workers. The Government of Canada is pleased to support these initiatives.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources
“It’s critically important to have everyone in the climate fight. Municipalities across Canada are doing their part with innovative solutions that create jobs and climate resilience. Green infrastructure investments in Canadian communities will make our air cleaner, our economy stronger, and set us on the path to a net-zero future.”
The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“Families and local governments are taking innovative climate actions in their communities. By investing in programs to help make homes more energy-efficient, we’re creating jobs, fighting climate change and lowering energy bills for families. I want to thank the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the City of Saskatoon for their innovative approach to fighting climate change and helping families. These are the sort of innovative, locally led climate solutions our government will continue to support.”
The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister for PrairiesCan, and Minister for CanNor
“Municipalities are on the front lines of climate change and climate action, and communities of all sizes are showing climate leadership at a time when we need it most. The Green Municipal Fund empowers them to get results on the ground. We deliver results with our federal partners – supporting cities like Saskatoon build a greener, more sustainable community, create jobs and helping Canadians make their homes more comfortable and affordable. Together, we are on the path to net-zero.”
Mairin Loewen, member of FCM Board of Directors and councillor, City of Saskatoon
“Saskatoon is the first municipality in Saskatchewan to implement a program like the Home Energy Loan Program. It allows residents to borrow money from the City to make energy efficient retrofits for single-family homes. Whether it goes towards a new furnace, windows, replacing a leaky door, or multiple projects, this program helps citizens save money month-to-month on utility costs, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This funding will enable us to expand this program, as it was immediately oversubscribed as a pilot project, resulting in a waitlist for residents wanting to make energy efficient improvements to their homes. To address equity, this program allows for the waiving of administrative fees and provides rebates for income-qualified households.”
Charlie Clark, Mayor, City of Saskatoon