Zero-interest loans to help Toronto MASH sectors get efficient

The City of Toronto has launched two funds that will make it easier for schools, churches, hospitals and other not-for-profit sectors to reduce their carbon footprint.

The $42 million Toronto Energy Conservation Fund and the $20 million Toronto Green Energy Fund, created as part of the city’s climate action plan, make available zero-interest loans for projects that aim to make buildings more energy efficient or bigger users of green energy. Up to $1 million will be available for individual projects, on the condition that the funding represents no more than 49 per cent of total project costs. Both new and retrofit building projects, including those involving municipal buildings, are eligible.

It’s a great idea, particularly during the current credit crunch, and we need to see more of the same. In fact, the city might want to check out what’s going on in Berkeley, Calif., where residents can install solar panels and pay for them over 20 years through a line item on their property tax bill. A company called Renewable Funding is administering the program, which could apply to a range of renewable energy and efficiency measures.