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Peterborough’s new Home Energy Efficiency Program receives $8.6M federal boost

Click to play video: 'Federal investment of over $8M to reduce energy costs for Peterborough homeowners'
Federal investment of over $8M to reduce energy costs for Peterborough homeowners
A major shot in the arm for home energy retrofits in Peterborough. The Federal Government announced a more than $8 million for a new program to reduce energy costs for hundreds of homeowners in the city. Tricia Mason has the details. – Feb 22, 2024

The federal government is providing $8.6 million to help the City of Peterborough, Ont., launch its new Home Energy Efficiency Program (HEEP).

The city’s new program will offer homeowners and renters two loan choices to be used to finance home energy efficiency improvements that help lower emissions, reduce energy costs and enhance comfort, such as upgrades to doors, windows, insulation, heat pumps and solar panels.

On Thursday, Steven Guilbeault, federal minister of environment and climate change, was in Peterborough to announce the federal investment, which consists of a $2.87-million grant and a $5.75-million loan through the Green Municipal Fund’s Community Efficiency Financing program. The initiative also includes the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).

“The new Home Energy Efficiency Program is great news for the people of Peterborough. It helps them cut their monthly energy bills while contributing to the fight against climate change,” Guilbeault said. “The partnership between the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and our Government through the Green Municipal Fund is helping put the City and communities across Canada on a path toward a resilient, low-carbon future, while making homes more sustainable and living more affordable. Together, we are growing a clean economy that works for everyone.”

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The loan choices include one tied to the property via a Local Improvement Charge or through an unsecured loan from a partnering financial institution. The city’s program aims to help 600 households retrofit their homes, with a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 825 tonnes of CO2 annually and saving more than 20,000 gigajoules of energy.

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In 2019 the city declared a climate emergency and updated a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent by 2023 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2025. The city reports that 23 per cent of emissions in Peterborough are from the 34,600 residential dwellings.

Mayor Jeff Leal says as a result, home retrofits are essential.

“Peterborough is helping homeowners take climate action by making it easier to finance retrofits that will greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other low carbon measure improvements,” Leal said. “I want to sincerely thank the Government of Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities for providing financial support for our new Home Energy Efficiency Program.”

Jonathan Wilkinson, federal minister of energy and natural resources, says the Community Efficiency Financing initiative is empowering Canadian communities to advance energy efficiency.

“Today’s announcement in Peterborough, Ontario, will help more Canadians to make the switch to more efficient heating, which will bring down both energy bills and emissions,” he stated.

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Scott Pearce, president of the FCM, praised Peterborough’s new program to help continue towards net-zero.

“Thanks to it, emissions and energy bills will be reduced, and it is a good example of fruitful federal-municipal partnership to respond to sustainability and affordability concerns,” he said.

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