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Guelph retrofit program
January 14, 2020

Proposed Guelph program would see loans for energy efficient retrofits tied to property, not the owner

Guelph CIty Council is excited about a potential new program that would allow property owners to borrow money for energy efficient retrofits and then have that loan attached to the property rather than the borrower.

Called Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), it sees the loan, plus interest, paid back through the property taxes on the building.

If the building is sold, the loan is also transferred to the new property owner.

One of the attractive elements to the city is that the funding for the program would be supplied through private investors, not the City of Guelph.

“Effectively, the municipality acts as the billing and collections provider,” Our Energy Guelph’s presentation to Guelph City Council at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting.

“We’re removing the city as the bank from the equation,” said coun. Dan Gibson, joining others around the horseshoe in praising the concept Monday.

Council unanimously supported a motion that directed city staff to report back with a recommendation regarding the city’s role in the proposed program later this year.

“I honestly hope that we can get the report from our staff done as quickly as possible and I hope that it reports that we are good to go from council’s end,” Mayor Cam Guthrie said.

“My goodness, I hope that this really comes together for everybody and the city as a whole.”

Our Energy Guelph is a community-based not-for-profit that morphed out of a city task force aimed at using less energy and producing fewer greenhouse gases.

While not a City of Guelph entity, it is acknowledged as the “implementer” of the city’s community energy initiative.

Alex Chapman, executive director of Our Energy Guelph, said the program has been very successful in the United States, particularly in California, where it originated.

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