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One of the most difficult and critical challenges in the world of reducing carbon pollution is how governments can work with the private sector to address financing for ‘deep’ (and expensive) energy retrofits.

The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) will soon release a paper on this topic. The organization is well positioned to develop this guidance, as it has focused on clean energy technology research and financial structuring during its 25-year history.

The new report focuses on financing options for multi-family residential buildings and best practices when evaluating business cases. It makes recommendations on how governments, utilities and private sector actors can scale up deep energy retrofit projects in Ontario; and reviews instruments such as Local Improvement Charge (LIC) programs, utility on-bill financing, and energy service agreements. It defines ‘deep energy retrofits’ as reducing a building’s energy usage by at least 40%.

Business case evaluation is reimagined in this document, as it recommends that going forward this process should include monetary benefits beyond simple payback, and also consider benefits described as ‘non-monetary’, (some of these are financial, but difficult to measure).

In addition to lower utility bills, the report identifies monetary benefits as increased property value and operating cash flow through reduced maintenance costs, increased rental income, reduced occupant turnover, rental premiums, increased asset values, lower insurance premiums and avoided incremental asset/equipment replacement costs.

Non-monetary benefits mentioned include reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, better indoor environmental quality, improved health and comfort for residents and employees, fewer costly complaints, and timely action on maintenance/upgrades to assets.

HRAI will comment further and provide links after the report is officially released.