Buildings account for approximately a third of Canada’s climate footprint. Many are either built at sub-optimal green standards because of agency issues (for example, developers who bear the upfront costs but do not realize the benefit of long-term energy savings), or operated sub-optimally due to split incentives between owner and tenants.
SOLUTIONS WE PROMOTE
- Replicating requirements recently developed in Ontario for large buildings to report energy use so that owners, renters and investors have complete information and energy efficient buildings can enjoy market premiums.
- Creating permitting fast lanes in Canada’s largest cities for buildings that meet the highest green standards (e.g., LEED Gold + Platinum), thus reducing barriers for developers.
- Implementing Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, allowing repayment of credit used for energy efficiency enhancements and renewable energy through existing municipal channels such as property tax bills.
EXAMPLES OF SUCCESSFUL ACTION
- Ontario’s Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking for Large Buildings will begin to come into effect in 2018.
- A multitude of U.S. jurisdictions, including New York City, San Franciscoand The State of California have implemented successful benchmarking requirements.
- Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Chicago expedite permitting if certain LEED designations are met.
- Ontario changed the Municipal Act and City of Toronto Act to empower municipalities to engage in PACE financing and tie energy efficiency/clean energy loans to properties.
- Connecticut’s C-PACE program fronts loans for property owners to do cost effective retrofits, with the money paid back through property tax.