Green Municipal Fund: New Funding for Energy Efficiency and More!

  6 May 2020

If you’re a non-profit housing co-op with ambitions to reduce your energy consumption by 25% or more, you may be eligible for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund.

FCM has about $300 million to disburse over the next six years under its Sustainable Affordable Housing program. That works out to $52 million annually, in a mix of loans (usually 10- or 20-year terms) and grants. These funds are general stackable with other programs like CMHC’s Co-investment Fund.

You’ll have some competition: municipal governments, municipally-owned corporations and non-profit housing operators (not just co-ops, but housing societies as well) are all eligible, and the program will work with retrofits and new builds across the country. In addition to the energy efficiency requirements, there are also affordability requirements: housing charges for at least 30% of units must be less than 80% of the local median market rates. The program is focused on energy efficiency, but projects can include other elements; improving accessibility, for instance, would probably improve an application’s chance for success.

The program opens on May 15, 2020. You can learn more at the FCM website. (There’s also a recorded webinar available.)

Funding is possible throughout a  project’s life. There are:

  • planning grants (up to $25,000 for up to 80% of eligible costs);
  • study grants (up to $175,000 for 50% of eligible costs);
  • pilot project grants (up to $500,000 for 80% of eligible costs); and
  • capital project funding (for retrofits, financing up to $10 million for 80% of eligible costs and with a grant of between 25 and 50%, depending on energy performance).

You will need your municipality to support your initiative (and “evidence of consultation with the provincial government”).  Other requirements vary and are more rigorous for capital project funding than support for the earlier stages of a project. Capital funding will require a feasibility study, typically with energy modelling or calculations.