Canada and FCM Announce Investment to Expand Cost-Saving Home Energy Upgrade Program to Communities in Nova Scotia

News release

March 14,     2024 Bridgewater,        Nova Scotia Natural Resources Canada

Improving the energy efficiency of homes is a key strategy to fight climate change and lower household expenses. The Government of Canada is partnering with municipalities to lift barriers that many Canadians face in being able to access the necessary funds to follow through with these upgrades.

That’s why today, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, on behalf of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, and Scott Pearce, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), announced an investment of $9.5 million through the Green Municipal Fund to expand the Clean Foundation's Clean Energy Financing program to municipalities in Nova Scotia.

Since 2016, the Clean Energy Financing program supports residential home energy upgrades in rural communities and has been operating in the Town of Bridgewater, the Town of Amherst, the District of Digby, the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg, the Municipality of Barrington, the Municipality of the District of Yarmouth, and Cumberland County in Nova Scotia.

This $9.5 million investment allows for the program to expand with program enhancements, such as reduced participation fees and enhancing marketing, and for improved services, including more effective home energy analyses and a new GHG reduction incentive to encourage deeper retrofits.

The Clean Energy Financing program uses a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing model where homeowners can gradually repay their loans at low rates within their existing property levies.

Maximum loan amounts vary from $10,000 to $40,000 between participating municipalities and financing options also vary as some municipalities may offer a set amount or provide financing based on property value.

Loans across the program support home energy upgrades including insulation, heat pumps, electrical vehicle charging stations, and the installation of solar panels. These upgrades are projected to deliver GHG reductions of 1,617 tonnes of CO2 per year and to save over 20,400 GJ of energy.

GMF’s Community Efficiency Financing (CEF), established in 2020, has supported municipalities in experimenting with new ways to assist homeowners with energy efficiency

improvements that boost local employment and the economy. These programs also aim to demonstrate the market for home retrofits and explore the potential to attract private lending capital. Established as part of the Budget 2019 investment of $950 million, the CEF is one of the ways GMF continues to build on its long record of providing federal support to transformative environmental initiatives at the community level. GMF, administered by FCM, is funded through an endowment by the Government of Canada.


“Nova Scotians have seen first-hand some of the worst effects of climate change. This is an exciting announcement for many municipalities across Nova Scotia in their efforts to combat climate change and make life more affordable for their residents. By helping people to invest in energy-efficient improvements to their homes, they can cut their monthly energy bills while supporting more sustainable communities. Projects and initiatives like the Clean Foundation's Clean Energy Financing program are helping us get there by reducing financial barriers for homeowners.”

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“Energy efficiency is crucial to our climate goals and to providing Canadians with a more affordable and resilient future. This expansion of the Clean Energy Financing program will allow Nova Scotians to enjoy lowered energy bills and improved comfort while driving down emissions and enhancing community resiliency. Congratulations to our municipal partners on advancing these innovative projects.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson Minister of Energy and Natural Resources

“Our cities and communities have influence over half of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions and they are also the most vulnerable to the impacts of new climate extremes. That’s why it is so crucial that we support smart and innovative local green solutions such as home energy-efficiency programs to continue moving towards net-zero. That’s exactly what the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund is doing today in collaboration with the federal government by investing in the expansion of Clean Foundation’s Home Energy Efficiency program. Thanks to it, participation fees can be reduced, more effective home energy analyses realized, and a new GHG reduction incentive offered to encourage deeper retrofits. It is a good example of fruitful federal-municipal partnership to respond to sustainability and affordability concerns.”

Scott Pearce
FCM President

“It’s important for homeowners in Nova Scotia to have access to opportunities to help them transition to more economical and efficient energy solutions for their homes. An increase in funding to the Clean Energy Financing program allows us to work with even more homeowners in municipalities across the province to make the necessary energy efficient retrofits so their homes are more comfortable and affordable in the long run.”

Scott Skinner
President and CEO of the Clean Foundation

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