Pillar 4: Social Finance

Current Social Finance Arms

Better Homes Loans Program

The Better Homes Loans Program (BHLP) being rolled out by the City of Ottawa provides financial assistance for deep energy retrofits. The introduction of BHLP funding opens many doors to many new retrofit opportunities across the city. An important aspect to the BHLP is the inclusion of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing that opens the door to private investment into retrofits to create a blended financing structure.

Ottawa Climate Action Fund

The Ottawa Climate Action Fund (OCAF) is modelled after the Toronto Atmospheric Fund and is a member of the Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3) Network. OCAF is poised to be involved in numerous green building initiatives with their robust and impact-oriented financing options. Most recently, OCAF helped fun Pillar 1’s Future Homes Ottawa pilot project to demonstrate neighbourhood-level deep energy retrofits.

Co-Energy Coop

The Co-Energy Coop is a community-level fund that takes co-operative ownership over energy efficiency projects, including deep energy retrofits. By operating at such a local scale with buy-in from a wide range of community investors, Co-Energy can pursue investment opportunities that are typically out of reach for private capital due to barriers like long return windows, higher risk, or unproven methodologies.

Past Projects

Social Finance Design Lab

On September 8th, 2018, Pillar 4 held a large event on the topic of connecting sustainable energy solutions with social finance. The head organizer of the event was Tessa Hebb, a renowned social finance expert and our Pillar 4 lead.

After a keynote address by Tim Stoate, Vice-President of the Toronto Atmospheric Fund, three expert panels were hosted on related topics:

  • What are the social finance models for renewable energy?
  • What conditions can we set for massively scaling up deep retrofits in Ottawa?
  • What do investors want and need in order to invest?

The Social Finance Design Lab was a resounding success and paved the way for future collaboration and exploration between the many stakeholders who attended the session. This event set the tone for how to move forward with mass scaling of deep energy retrofits. Find out more about the Social Finance Design Lab at https://sustainableeasternontario.ca/sustainable-energy-social-finance-design-lab/

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