Previewing FCM’s Energy Efficiency Guide for Affordable Housing Providers
Written by Aisha Salahdiin Ahmed
October 5, 2022
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) held, on Wednesday June 15th, a webinar where they:
Discussed Energy retrofitting existing buildings
Broke down Funding opportunities for new projects
Recommended engaging Regional Energy Coaches
Teased their new guidebook for affordable housing providers
The FCM proposed to achieve energy efficiency mainly by reducing waste and incorporating technological solutions. For the case of retrofits of multi-unit projects, it is crucial to engage with residents at an early stage and conduct consultation. To housing providers, they advised that budgeting and planning can lead to new energy efficient equipment- instead of just like-for-like replacements, and they recommended considering non-energy benefits and ensuring efficient choices are made to support operations.
They also placed heavy emphasis on pursing “upgrades” rather than “replacements” throughout the retrofitting journey. They categorize projects by the various levels of energy reductions:
Minor retrofits: less than or equal to 25% of energy reduction
Major retrofits: 35% energy reduction
Deep retrofits: greater than 50% energy reduction
As for new construction projects that are aiming to produce energy conscious buildings, the FCM through their sustainable affordable housing initiative offer various funding opportunities for different stages of the project. In order to be eligible, applicants must meet these criteria
Retrofits: Save at least 25% of current energy consumption Newbuilds: Net zero energy (ready) or 80 kWh/m2
Rents for at least 30% of the units are less than 80% of the local median market rent
The Green Municipal Funding Funding Offers at Various Stages
Grant up to $25,000 Up to 80% of eligible costs
Grant up to $175,000 Up to 50% of eligible costs
Up to $500,000 Up to 80% of eligible costs
Capital: Retrofit (Minimum 25% energy improvement)
Financing up to $10 million Up to 80% of eligible total project costs Grant based on energy performance Grants are 25% to 50% of GMF funded amount
Capital: New Build (NZE/ NZER)
Financing up to $10 million Up to %20 of eligible total project costs Grants are 50% of GMF funded amount
The FCM has also expressed that to evaluate funding applications, they consider three main aspects of the application and the applicant team:
Is there a strong management team?
Is there innovation either to your organization or to the sector as a whole?
Are you planning to share your knowledge back to the sector?
The FCM encourages anyone who is interested in retrofits to engage “Regional Energy Couches” such as BC Non-Profit Housing Association, Co-Operative Housing Federation of Canada, and Community Housing Transformation Center. These Regional Energy Couches can support retrofit project planning, coach affordable housing providers to plan efficient retrofits, and share opportunities across the funding landscape.
Finally, The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has recently published a detailed guidebook for affordable housing providers. Click here to take a look at the “Understanding Energy Efficiency” guidebook.