Ottawa’s Retrofit Accelerator Steps In To See That Climate Action Benefits Those Most In Need.
AS OTTAWA AND cities across Canada wrestle with the twin crises of affordability and climate, local non-profit, EnviroCentre, is forging a locally grown solution to tackle both, together. As part of their work to support residents and communities to reduce carbon emissions and transition to the clean energy economy, they are establishing a social housing retrofit accelerator, the Future Homes Accelerator. This project will bring the benefits of climate action and energy transition where they are needed most: lower-income residents and social housing providers who own and maintain affordable homes.
Designed in the model of TAF’s Retrofit Accelerator (formerly Towerwise), EnviroCentre’s program will provide free expert services to social housing providers to help them effectively plan, finance and execute deep energy retrofits on their portfolios, creating energy savings and GHG emissions reductions while improving home comfort, health and resilience for residents.
These types of retrofits are encouraged for home and building owners across the country through programs like the federal Greener Homes Program, Ottawa’s own Better Homes Ottawa Loan Program, and a range of larger-scale funding envelopes for large portfolio owners. All programs encourage building-owners to take on the work of reducing building-related energy and emissions, which make up about 46% of community emissions here in Ottawa. However, these supports and incentives remain inaccessible or irrelevant to housing providers with limited capacity to map the benefits or leverage the resources available.
Retrofit accelerators, like EnviroCentre’s Future Homes Accelerator, step in to make the connections and ensure that social housing deep retrofit projects move forward, bringing all their benefits to the community and its residents. They help ensure that public funds, incentives and opportunities are accessed by those who can benefit from them the most, but they also help to ensure that the benefits of climate action and energy transition are experienced, first, by lower-income and/or vulnerable residents of our communities. This builds future communities and a future city that addresses affordability and climate hand-in-hand. It supports the kind of strong, clean economy that will build a thriving and resilient future for Ottawa.
Retrofit accelerator projects are popping up all over the country. If you want to learn more about Ottawa’s Future Homes Accelerator, or have a social housing deep retrofit project in mind, you can reach the Future Homes Accelerator team at email@example.com.