Affordable Loans for Home Efficiency Upgrades
"In 2014, Toronto launched two innovative loan programs: Home Energy Loan Program (HELP) and High-Rise Retrofit Improvement Support Program (Hi-RIS). Offered with no upfront costs and at a low interest rate, the loans target energy efficiency and water conservation upgrades in single-family houses and rental apartment buildings. Crucially, the cost of improvements is repaid over time via fixed installments linked to the property tax bill, meaning the loan is tied to the land not the owner, in case of sale. The program also has equity considerations, as owners’ eligibility is not dependent on traditional credit ratings but their rate of municipality repayment. So far, $5.4 million in low-interest loans have been committed to 111 energy projects.
The programs’ “one-window” service makes the process as easy and streamlined as possible for participants, allowing access to utility incentives, energy advisors, and customer support in addition to financing."