Clean Energy Improvement Program

The city is exploring the opportunity to provide a Clean Energy Improvement Program (CEIP) in Leduc, an innovative financing tool for property owners to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades without an upfront financial investment.

A Clean Energy Improvement Bylaw was approved by Leduc City Council on April 12, 2021. The bylaw will allow for residential energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to be paid for by the benefiting property owner over time through a Clean Energy Improvement Charge added to their property tax bill, similar to a local improvement charge.

The city plans to apply for grant funding from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in April 2021 to offset program administration costs for the first four years.

If approved, the program is expected to launch near the end of 2021/early 2022 and will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the community, deliver energy bill savings to program participants, contribute to job creation and local economic growth. If the city is not approved, the program will not proceed at this time. It is expected to take six to seven months to hear whether the application was successful.

The Clean Energy Improvement Program is administered in Alberta by the Alberta Municipal Services Corporation (AMSC), which provides support to municipalities, participants and contractors. To keep up to date on the CEIP program and sign up for more information as it comes available please visit myceip.ca.


Timeline

  • Fall 2020 - Clean Energy Improvement Program: Market Study and Program Overview for the City of Leduc complete
  • Spring 2021 - Clean Energy Improvement Program Bylaw passed to authorize the financing mechanism
  • Spring 2021 - Grant application to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to be submitted to fund the Leduc program
  • Fall/Winter 2021 - Expected timeline to hear whether our grant application is approved and the program can proceed
  • Winter 2021/Early 2022 - Local contractor recruitment
  • Winter 2021/Early 2022 - Expected program launch

Contractors

Local contractors are integral to the success of the Clean Energy Improvement Program. If you’re interested in learning more visit myceip.ca to sign-up for email updates. The program administrator, Alberta Municipal Services Corporation will share updates and municipal events with you as they become available.


Clean Energy Improvement Program FAQs

Would my property taxes go up even if I don’t make any upgrades to my property?

No. The upgrades would be paid for by the benefiting property owner only. If you don’t participate in the program, it won’t impact your property taxes.

Why is this program being considered by the City?
The city has shown strong environmental leadership over the past several years through various initiatives to help protect the environment. The Clean Energy Improvement Program will keep us moving in that direction by providing an opportunity to make energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades more affordable for local property owners.

Based on public consultation we know there is interest in the community for a program like this. Overall, we expect to approve roughly 30 residential upgrade projects per year, averaging about $19,000 each. That cost may have otherwise been a significant barrier for some property owners.

Initiatives like this are also recommended in the city’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Action Plan. The program can be implemented at low (or no) cost to the city and have a positive impact on reducing greenhouse gases, improve housing stock and contribute to local economic growth.

Which energy efficiency or renewable energy upgrades will qualify?
All eligible residential upgrades will be listed on the Clean Energy Improvement Program website when the program launches. Examples include high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, windows, insulation, water heaters, and solar photovoltaic systems.

How would the upgrades be paid for, if the property owner doesn’t have to pay up front?
The energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades will be paid for by the benefiting property owner over time through a clean energy improvement charge added to their property tax bill, similar to a local improvement charge. 

If the application to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is successful, the city plans to borrow capital for the program to finance projects being completed in the first four years of the program. FCM is also providing a grant to offset administration costs and incentives for the first four years of the program. 

Essentially, the city will pay for the upgrade using the borrowed funds and the property owner will pay the loan back through their property taxes. 

The maximum term of the clean energy improvement charge is equal to the effective useful life (EUL) of the upgrades completed in the project. A complete list of eligible upgrades and their EUL will be shared on the Clean Energy Improvement Program website when it becomes available.

How would the city pay for this after the first four years?
The program will be reviewed and administration costs will be evaluated. The city will consider adding a service fee to new upgrade projects to cover future administration costs.

What happens if the property owner moves? Who is responsible to continue paying for the improvements?
The obligation to repay the expense would remain with the property. If you moved, the responsibility to pay for the improvements would shift to the new property owner and continue to be paid for through the property tax process.

Will the property owner pay interest on the cost of upgrades?
Yes, the property owner would be required to pay interest on the cost of the upgrades; however, the city will pass on the low interest rate that it secures with its lender – meaning there is no revenue generation component to the program. It operates on cost recovery and the property owner can benefit from the low rates that the city can secure, which are often much lower than what an individual would get on their own.

Is the program only for home owners?
Yes, the program is only being offered to residential property owners at this time. Eligible properties are classified as low-rise residential properties (i.e., detached, semi-detached, row housing, a town house, or multi-unit with four stories or less). The city may consider expanding the program to non-residential properties in the future.

How can I participate in the program?
If the city is successful in its grant application, an application process will be rolled out when the program begins and will involve agreements between the property owner and the city, the property owner and Alberta Municipal Services Corporation (AMSC), as well as the city and AMSC. Specifics around the application process will be shared later this year.

Do other municipalities in the Capital Region offer similar programs?
The Alberta Municipal Services Corporation has engaged similar program administrators across Canada and the United States on key learnings around program development and implementation (i.e., Toronto, Halifax, Colorado and California). In Alberta, the program opportunity is very new. In Alberta the program opportunity is very new. Edmonton, Devon and Rocky Mountain House are launching the first programs in Alberta this summer. The City of Leduc is not far behind, with hopes of launching the program in late 2021/early 2022. 


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