New energy efficiency fund offers ‘world-first’ scheme

A new fund in Canada is offering CA$2 million in a variety of schemes to encourage energy efficiency in the home and workplace, including a scheme to encourage developers to build energy efficient houses, described as a world-first.

The programme has been developed to experiment with new innovations in the marketplace, and to give assistance to low income households, Jean-Pierre Finet, Executive Director of the Energy Efficiency Fund told edie.

There are a variety of schemes within the programme. These include a CA$5 per square foot rebate, up to CA$500, for owners of existing houses who have had an energy audit carried out on their home, and who wish to install high energy performance windows.

In the commercial sector, owners of large commercial buildings that are heated with hot water or steam radiators, who install ‘Novitherm’ heat reflector panels, will also benefit. Such companies will get back 10 cents per cubic metre of gas saved, up to CA$20,000. To be eligible, companies have to already consume at least 50,000 cubic metres of natural gas per year.

The Energy Efficiency Fund has also installed the heat reflector panels in 800 flats for people on low incomes.

The Fund is also offering finance for new social housing, to pay the additional cost of ensuring that the building is energy efficient. Building owners then repay one-third from their forecasted energy savings. “That’s a world premier,” said Finet, stating that the scheme removes any barriers for energy efficient construction.

The scheme is funded by the corporate clients of Gaz Metropolitain, who split their performance gains between customers and shareholders, with the customer benefits being distributed through the Energy Efficiency Fund.

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