Today the City is holding a Public Hearing at which Council will be discussing the Clean Energy Improvement Pilot Program Tax Bylaw. As individuals, we can purchase or rent solar panels or other clean energy sources for our homes, but this is often challenging or impossible for people to afford upfront. The same goes for energy efficiency retrofits.
The Clean Energy Improvement Program (CEIP) is a financing tool that will help residential and commercial property owners install clean energy and/or retrofit their buildings to be more energy-efficient. Building owners who take part in the program are able to repay the costs over time through their property tax bills and save more in the long run with lower energy costs.
This program is an excellent way for us to lower our collective greenhouse gas emissions while also benefiting homeowners with lower upfront costs in the short term and lower energy costs in the long term. Incentivizing retrofits and the installation of clean energy sources is one of the single best ways cities can meet their climate commitments. We need more bold yet practical thinking like this.
The City has been talking about doing something like this for years and it’s past time we got it done. My climate policy plan, to be released in September, will commit to making the current CEIP pilot permanent and significantly expanding it. My plan will also create similar incentives to make green retrofits and clean energy investments the easy choice. As Mayor, I would expand the program to target commercial and industrial buildings as well, which have a huge demand for energy.
While much of the fight against climate change requires collaboration with and action from other orders of government, this is one of the clearest ways that we, as a city, can do our part.
This approach allows everyone to participate in reducing real emissions. It’s time for us to take climate change seriously, not just talk about taking it seriously. I will always focus on practical and widely inclusive solutions like CEIP.