The City of Toronto’s Home Energy Loan Program (HELP), which has completed 245 retrofit projects with 18 more currently underway, was launched in 2014 as the first Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program in Ontario.

Toronto-Danforth MP Julie Dabrusin, who is the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, recently announced a $14,568,000 investment through the Community Efficiency Financing initiative to help recapitalize a home energy retrofit financing program in the City of Toronto, alongside Taneen Rudyk, president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).

“Energy-efficient homes are more affordable to heat and cool, while reducing emissions and allowing us to adapt to our changing climate. We are working as a partner to our cities to help Canadians make their homes more energy-efficient,” said Dabrusin.

This funding will support enhancements to HELP so the program will better support energy efficiency and decarbonization of houses in Toronto, while growing the model nationally. HELP uses a local improvement charge (LIC) financing model and is administered by City staff. The program is open to detached, semi-detached and row houses of any age. The program currently supports energy-efficiency, renewable-energy, energy-storage and water-conservation measures.

“Municipalities are on the front lines of climate change and climate action, and communities of all sizes are showing climate leadership at a time when we need it most. The Green Municipal Fund empowers them to get results on the ground,” said Rudyk. “We deliver results with our federal partners – supporting cities like Toronto build a greener, more sustainable community, create jobs and helping Canadians make their homes more comfortable and affordable. Together, we are on the path to net zero.”

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The city aims to widen market awareness through planned outreach and provide more support to homeowners, contractors, industry associations and realtors to plan and undertake retrofits. HELP will also continue to increase capacity-building and knowledge-sharing among internal and external stakeholders to grow the model in other communities across Ontario and Canada. HELP is aligned with and supports the City’s accelerated TransformTO Net Zero climate action strategy and target to reduce city-wide greenhouse gas emissions in all sectors to net zero by 2040, including all homes and buildings.

The Community Efficiency Financing (CEF) initiative is offered through the Green Municipal Fund (GMF) delivered by FCM and funded by the Government of Canada. The CEF helps communities of all sizes implement innovative local financing programs that directly help homeowners cut their greenhouse gas emissions, make their homes more energy-efficient, comfortable and affordable, while creating local jobs and building the capacity for a thriving retrofit market in Canada’s cities.

“Improving energy efficiency and decarbonizing our homes is one of the biggest things that homeowners can do to help address the climate emergency,” said Councillor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park), Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee. “It will also create a better, more resilient future for our city. I encourage all homeowners to make a plan to improve their homes and explore the loans and incentives available through City’s HELP program and other sources.”

For further information, visit City of Toronto Home Energy Loan Program (HELP)

Featured image of Taneen Rudyk, Julie Dabrusin and Jennifer McKelvie. Credit: Jennifer McKelvie/Facebook.


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