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City of Kingston’s Home Energy Retrofit Program receives $15M investment

Joanne Vanderheyden, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (top left), was joined by MP Mark Gerretsen (top right) and Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson met virtually on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022, where a $15 million investment into Kingston’s Home Energy Retrofit Program was announced. Photos via MP Mark Gerretsen on Facebook.

The City of Kingston’s Home Energy Retrofit Program will be receiving $15 million through the Community Efficiency Financing (CEF) initiative. The program aims to reduce pollution and help Kingston homeowners save money.

Member of Parliament (MP) for Kingston and the Islands, Mark Gerretsen, on behalf of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, and Joanne Vanderheyden, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), made the announcement today, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022.

“Upgrading our homes to be more energy-efficient will get us a long way to our climate targets, help Canadians save money on energy costs, and create good jobs in our communities,” said Wilkinson. “Our government is pleased to help homeowners in Kingston and across Canada cut pollution from their households.”

‘Better Homes Kingston’ will be a local improvement charge (LIC) financing program to encourage homeowners to undertake “deep-energy retrofits,” according to the FCM. In addition to the primary LIC model, the City will encourage utilities providers to offer on-bill financing and third-party lending from financial institutions as the program grows over its first few years to enable a long-term scale-up, according to a media release. This program is expected to retrofit 25 to 50 per cent of Kingston’s pre-1991 single-family homes by 2040, achieving an average carbon-reduction impact of 30 per cent per home.

According to the release, Better Homes Kingston is planned to open in March and will be available to eligible properties across the City starting in the late spring of this year.

“Demonstrating leadership on climate action is a priority for the City of Kingston, and our community,” said Mayor Bryan Paterson. “As Mayor, I am proud to see our City partnering with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Government of Canada to help more Kingstonians realize renovations that will make their homes more cost and energy efficient. Home improvements achieved through this program will lower community greenhouse gas emissions, and bring us closer to our target of achieving carbon neutrality no later than 2040.”

The Community Efficiency Financing (CEF) initiative is offered through the Green Municipal Fund (GMF), delivered by FCM, and funded by the Government of Canada. According to the release, CEF helps communities of all sizes implement innovative local financing programs that directly help homeowners cut their GHG emissions, make their homes more energy-efficient, comfortable and affordable, and create local jobs and keep the local economy moving.

“It is through these investments, delivered through the Green Municipal Fund, we are exploring new ways for Canadians to make energy-efficient choices that support local economies and contribute to Canada’s climate goals,” Gerretsen stated.

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, according to the release. The Government of Canada has invested $1.65 billion in the GMF since its inception, enabling municipalities to support projects like this that leverage local resources to drive innovative solutions.

Ted Hsu for MPP
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