The Government of Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities announced more than $15.2 million for four projects that will reduce emissions and increase the sustainability of buildings in Ontario.

The City of Guelph receives $15 million ($5 million in grants and $10 million in loans) for Guelph’s Greener Homes initiative – a residential home energy-efficiency retrofit program that will help residents reduce emissions and make their homes more affordable. Administered by the city, the program will provide loans up to $50,000 to upgrade the energy efficiency in homes and install solar panels to generate renewable energy.

“Today’s announcement for Guelph and communities across Ontario will help support affordability and climate action. By investing in energy-efficient, low-carbon infrastructure today, we are taking the steps needed to create good-paying jobs, save consumers money and fight climate change for years to come. I congratulate the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and all local partners involved in these projects,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources.

“Heating and cooling buildings makes up a large percentage of greenhouse gas emissions, second only to transportation. It is critical for the federal government to support homeowners who are working to accelerate our path to net zero through programs like Guelph’s Greener Homes initiative.  The Climate Change Accountability Act we passed will keep track of progress, and we want Guelph to be in a lead position of communities that are taking the climate crisis seriously,” said Lloyd Longfield, MP for Guelph.

In addition, three feasibility studies will also receive support:

  • The City of Brantford ($195,000) to study ways to reduce GHG emissions at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre, the Lion’s Park Arena, and the Brantford and District Civic Centre. The city hopes to reduce energy consumption by 50 percent within 10 years and by 80 percent within 20 years, ultimately reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.The Regional Municipality of Waterloo ($67,200) to study two scenarios to reduce GHG emissions in four of its community buildings.

    The Regional Municipality of Halton ($28,970) to assess the feasibility of constructing a net-zero energy district facility for the Halton Regional Police Service to help the police force deliver services to Halton Hills and Milton.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities administers the Green Municipal Fund through an endowment by the Government of Canada. Since 2000, it has disbursed over $1.11 billion in sustainability initiatives including support of green buildings, energy efficiency, and building retrofits. Its unique mix of funding, resources and training gives municipalities the tools to build resilience and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Government of Canada invested a further $950 million in the GMF in 2019 to support greater energy efficiency and building emissions reductions.

“Our homes and public facilities are important places where Canadians live, gather and access services. Yet, their carbon footprint can hurt our efforts to reach our net-zero target by 2050. That’s why support from Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Government of Canada is so crucial. Through the Green Municipal Fund, initiatives like the Halton Regional Police Service’s net-zero energy district, or retrofitting homes in the City of Guelph are able to move forward. Only through strong collaboration between all orders of government can we continue to work towards a more sustainable and affordable Canada and FCM is glad to be part of such endeavour,” said Scott Pearce, FCM President.

Featured image: The Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre in Brantford, Ont. (Ball Construction)

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