Calgary is taking advantage of new provincial legislation to introduce a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program that will allow homeowners to finance energy efficiency upgrades through their property taxes.
The innovative financing approach, first pioneered in California in 2008 and later adopted in communities like Toronto and Halifax, “allows the improvements to be made with no money down, with homeowners able to repay the costs with the savings that come from the improved energy efficiency,” the Calgary Herald reports.
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Environment Minister Shannon Phillips predicted the program would be popular across Alberta, beyond urban populations in Calgary and Edmonton. “PACE can be successful in any municipality, rural or urban, and we hope this program will take off in communities across the province,” she said, although “we are giving communities a choice, absolutely.”
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi “expects council to sign on to the program once it is fully fleshed out next year,” the Herald notes.
“We’ve seen Calgarians, both businesses and homeowners, are interested in reducing their long-term costs,” Nenshi said. “Sometimes the challenge has been the entry price is too high,” but “as people are concerned about emissions, as we see changes in the cost of traditional energy in the city, more people will start to look at this.”