The Federation of Canadian Municipalities awarded Saanich $350,000 for a Home Energy Retrofit Municipal Financing pilot project. (Black Press Media file photo)

Saanich awarded $350,000 for home energy retrofit pilot project

Federation of Canadian Municipalities funds 11 projects with $2.5 million investment

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has awarded $350,000 to the District of Saanich for a two-year home-retrofit pilot project through the Green Municipal Fund.

Saanich’s Home Energy Retrofit Municipal Financing pilot plan is one of 11 projects that will receive a portion of $2.5 million in FCM funding. The other projects include an electric transit bus pilot in Saskatoon, Sask. and a thermophilic composter test project using bacteria to break down biological waste in Landrienne, Que.

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Saanich’s financing program will prioritize lower-income households and allow residents to replace oil heating tanks with low-carbon air-source heat pumps without taking on the financial burden.

In a report submitted to council in February 2019, District staff explained that in Saanich, there are an estimated 4,600 homes heated with oil and that more than 30 per cent of the municipality’s greenhouse gas emissions come from energy use in buildings.

The report said, while rebate programs have existed for some time, the model of a homeowner funding a home energy retrofit and then being reimbursed for a portion of the costs isn’t accessible to lower-income households.

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To offset the costs of the retrofit project, Saanich applied for funding from the FCM Green Municipal Fund in March 2019.

The funding Saanich received is enough to retrofit 50 homes over two years. A District spokesperson indicated that the project will launch later in 2020.

Since 2000, the FCM Green Municipal Fund has financed more than 1,300 sustainability projects across the country.


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