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."

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Part of Solution

  • Finance & Economic Development for Cities100

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