The Quebec government and the labour-sponsored investment fund, Fondaction, have pledged $30 million to underwrite energy efficiency improvements in commercial buildings. The 2018 provincial budget, released last week, announced the new loan fund as part of Quebec’s commitment to greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions, and promised more details soon.
“The government’s participation will take the form of an investment with expected return,” the budget document states. “This fund will aim not only to help reduce GHG emissions and improve businesses’ carbon footprint, but also to generate financial savings for participating businesses.”
In addition to contributing half the working capital ($15 million), Fondaction will administer the energy retrofit loans. Quebec’s energy ministry and the not-for-profit public interest group, Association québécoise pour la maîtrise de l’énergie have been tapped to provide technical advice to the recipients in the commercial building sector.
For homeowners, the new budget allocates $172 million to offer the RénoVert refundable tax credit for another year — extending the deadline to qualify for a rebate of up to $10,000 on energy and water efficiency improvements and renewable energy installations until March 31, 2019. The ÉcoPerformance program, which supports businesses, municipalities and other public sector institutions in implementing low-carbon energy systems and other process improvements, also receives a $30 million boost.
“These programs are critically important to our advanced renewable technology,” observes Ted Kantrowitz, chief executive officer of the Canadian GeoExchange Coalition. “GeoExchange technology helps make Quebec highly efficient and renewable and can provide a deeply effective method of decarbonization in one of the world’s least expensive energy environments.”