The biggest barriers with deep energy home retrofitting to reduce climate changing emissions and energy expenses associated with energy waste are the upfront costs associated with retrofits.
To help citizens overcome this financial barrier to climate action, on bill financing and low cost borrowing solutions for green retrofits are emerging in Canadian municipalities. Currently no program like this exists in London. If you are looking to finance a retrofit the best option available is a home equity line of credit (HELOC) through a commercial borrowing institution.
However, other municipalities are taking action by providing municipal finance solutions for deep energy home retrofits. For example, the City of Guelph is implementing a PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) program in their community. With PACE, property owners are able to borrow guaranteed, upfront funds through the municipality to undertake emissions lowering energy efficiency projects. The borrowing costs for this PACE loan for deep retrofits are then fixed to the property and the repayment occurs over an extended time via property taxes. Learn more about PACE through this helpful overview of the Guelph program or view the full report.
Toronto also has a version of a PACE program called the Home Energy Loan Program (HELP). This program makes it easy and affordable for all homeowners to access funding for retrofitting and then reimburse the borrowing costs of home improvements over time. For more information check out this this short video.
For more information and to apply, please visit: http://www.toronto.ca/home-energy-loan
The City of Halifax has a similar Local Improvement Charge program called Solar City to help residents afford deep energy retrofits that can help reduce costs and emissions associated with water and space heating reliant on fossil fuel energy.
If you are interested in reading more about the adoption of PACE programs in Canadian municipalities the Clean Air Partnership has put together an in depth toolkit.