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Executive committee approves $5M funding request for clean energy improvements in Calgary

The internal funding, which comes out of the city's Fiscal Stability Reserve, will confirm the city's eligibility for a loan from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities which will help finance clean energy improvements for homes throughout Calgary. Adam MacVicar / Global News

Calgary city council‘s executive committee unanimously approved a $5-million funding request to finance clean energy improvements on Tuesday.

The money will come out of the city’s Fiscal Stability Reserve and will help fund renewable energy upgrades for Calgary homeowners. It will also allow the city to apply for a $10-million loan from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities that can be used to finance renewable energy projects. In order to qualify, the city had to confirm at least 20 per cent contribution to program costs.

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The funding comes after council approved the Clean Energy Improvement Program last December, a loan program that aims to make renewable energy upgrades more accessible to homeowners. The program leverages the province’s Property Assessed Clean Energy initiative which allows property owners access to flexible, long-term financing through their municipality.

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Through the program, the city will cover up to $50,000 for clean energy renovations, which will be repaid through the homeowner’s property tax bill over a period of up to 25 years at the same interest rate the city would pay on loans funding the program. Money collected from repayment will be redirected back into the Fiscal Stability Reserve fund.

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The loan and allocation of internal funds will help finance clean energy improvements in up to 720 homes over four years, assuming an average project size of just under $21,000.

The first four years will be considered a pilot phase and will be expanded if successful, which will allow the city to turn the repayments into funds for future clean energy improvement projects.

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“There’s a lot of people that have sent in emails and people that have come to us at public presentations as well about being able to leverage some of the dollars through their property taxes to make additions and changes to their own homes. This is definitely something that consumers are interested in and we’re looking forward to making it happen for them,” said Mayor Jyoti Gondek in December.

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The executive council also discussed leaves for public members of boards, commissions and committees during Tuesday’s meeting. Calgary city council approved a bylaw in 2018 to allow councillors to take parental leave from council, but that didn’t extend to volunteers. Councillors Jasmine Mian, Sonya Sharp, Kourtney Penner, Jennifer Wyness and Gian-Carlo Carra put forward a notice of motion to ask for a review of potential leave for those members.

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The motion was carried unanimously and will come to next month’s city council meeting for final approval.

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