City of Ottawa must fast-track Property Assessed Payments for Energy Retrofit program (PAPER)

(Ottawa, Ontario) A key takeaway from the City of Ottawa’s Greenhouse Gas Rountable session is an obvious appetite for short term action among participants, and agreement that a Property Asessessed Payments for Energy Retrofit program (PAPER) is something the City of Ottawa can achieve in short order.

Kevin O’Donnell, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Ontario, attended the roundtable and found it encouraging that three speaker’s panel members stated a PAPER program would be their choice, if the city could only pick one action item to move forward with. PAPER programs (sometimes refered to as Property Assessed Clean Energy – PACE) enable residents to retrofit their homes for energy efficiency with City funds, which are recovered through additional payments on property taxes.

“The Ontario government enabled municipalities to run PAPER programs in November 2012, so now it’s in the City’s court to show action on this effective system for reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said O’Donnell. “A PAPER program would be inexpensive for the City to operate and residents would see immediate reductions in energy costs. It’s inexpensive and a win-win for everyone.”

The benefit to residents is an immediate reduction in heating and cooling costs, which exceed the increase in property taxes to recover the up-front retrofit costs. The City’s economy benefits in the short term through the creation of construction jobs, and over the long term by being more competitive on energy costs.

In tomorrow’s energy dominated global economy, more efficient housing stock will be a key factor in businesses’ decisions on where to invest.