Clean Energy loan applications now open in Lethbridge
Applications are now open for the City of Lethbridge's Clean Energy Improvement Program (CEIP), which will provide homeowners with a financial tool to support energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to their properties.
With the goal of creating a more climate resilient community and lowering energy costs, the list of eligible projects includes upgrading windows, doors, adding solar panels, increasing insulation, upgrading lighting fixtures, installing a tankless hot water system and more.
"Clean energy improvements will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and can lead to reduced energy costs for the property owner, so we are very excited to offer this program," says Larry Laverty, Assessment and Taxation Manager and local CEIP Program Manager. "This is a great opportunity for those homeowners thinking about renovations to consider choices for better energy performance and to lower their utility bills."
CEIP allows homeowners to apply for low interest financing from the City, with repayment collected through property tax bills during a span of up to 20 years, depending on the expected life of the improvement. There is also an option to repay it in full at any time without penalty and the financing can be transferred to the next owner if the home sells.
The program, which has been in development since 2018, is administered by Alberta Municipalities in partnership with the City of Lethbridge. This project is being carried out with assistance from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' (FCM) Green Municipal Fund, an endowment created by the Government of Canada. The City of Lethbridge has received $3.8 million from FCM to support the implementation of CEIP for residential properties. During the four-year pilot project, the program is expected to help an estimated 180 homeowners with the cost of upgrades.
"Not only will this program help property owners with energy bill savings and provide low-interest financing, the CEIP will help support our local economy," says Mayor, Blaine Hyggen. "This is wonderful news for our community for those looking to make more affordable home upgrades, as well as for the work being created for local energy efficiency and renewable energy contractors."
"Environment Lethbridge is thrilled to see the Clean Energy Improvement Program come to Lethbridge," says Kathleen Sheppard, Executive Director of Environment Lethbridge. "By providing an opportunity for Lethbridge businesses and residents to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements, we're confident this program will have long-lasting environmental benefits for our community."
Participants must install eligible upgrades with a minimum cost of $3,000 to qualify for financing. Availability is limited and will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a maximum of $50,000 of eligible costs per property, but the annual Clean Energy Improvement Tax cannot exceed the property's annual municipal property tax payment. Many of the upgrades require permits from the City and no monies will be advanced unless proper permits are in place.
For those interested, the first step is to reviews the program terms and conditions and submit a pre-qualification application. Homeowners must then complete an EnerGuide home evaluation to learn about their home energy performance and understand their best options for home improvements. Working with a qualified contractor under the program, the homeowner will then submit a project application with their proposed upgrades.
"If a project application is approved, the property owner enters into a Clean Energy Improvement Agreement with the City, which is essentially their financing agreement for their approved upgrades," says Laverty. "Once the upgrades are installed, the homeowner will submit final forms and undergo a post-project home evaluation."
Local contractors, who include energy efficiency and renewable energy in their services, are encouraged to apply to be listed as a qualified contractor on the program website in order to provide services for CEIP projects. Alberta Municipalities, the designated provincial administrator of the program, has successfully launched CEIP in eight municipalities around the province.
"Alberta Municipalities is pleased to support the City of Lethbridge as it introduces its Clean Energy Improvement Program," says Cathy Heron, President, Alberta Municipalities. "This program will help residential property owners invest in energy efficiency upgrades or renewable energy installations, making their properties more comfortable while enhancing their property values and saving energy costs."
An application will need to be submitted and approved prior to any work being started on the project. Visit ceip.abmunis.ca/Lethbridge and review the terms and conditions for eligibility details. Learn more about the local program here.
- CEIP is offered by The City of Lethbridge in partnership with Alberta Municipalities
- CEIP offers homeowners:
- Financing for up to 100 per cent of project costs
- Competitive interest rates
- Long repayment terms (up to 20 years), depending on the expected useful life of the improvement
- The option to repay in full at any time without penalty
- CEIP does not apply retroactively; an application needs to be submitted and approved before any work begins on a project
- CEIP is an innovative program that attaches the financing to the property rather than the person. To sell the home, property owners have two choices:
- Disclose and transfer the outstanding balance to prospective buyers who will take on the repayment and enjoy the energy saving benefits of the improvements
- Pay the balance owing at the time of sale without penalty
- The City of Lethbridge is offering an $800 project incentive for completed CEIP projects. The incentive is limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. See the program terms and conditions for more information
- CEIP can be stacked with other financing and rebate programs, such as Canada Greener Homes grant and loan programs
- CEIP is only available to residential properties in Lethbridge
- Alberta Municipalities has successfully launched CEIP in eight other municipalities: Calgary, Edmonton, Canmore, Athabasca, Devon, Leduc, Rocky Mountain House and St. Albert
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