Frequently Asked Questions – The Clean Energy Improvement Program

What is The Clean Energy Improvement Program?

The Clean Energy Improvement Program allows residents of participating Alberta municipalities to make affordable energy efficiency or renewable energy upgrades to private property with no money down. The program is also known as PACE, which stands for Property Assessed Clean Energy.

How does The Clean Energy Improvement Program work?

The Clean Energy Improvement Program is voluntary for municipalities. To set up the program, a municipality must pass a bylaw and then work with Energy Efficiency Alberta to deliver the program to residents. Repaying the costs of the upgrades is facilitated through the municipal property tax system.

Is this a new program?

While new to Alberta, PACE is well established in many jurisdictions. First implemented in California in 2008, PACE programs have expanded to approximately 30 U.S. states generating nearly $6 billion in economic activity. Canadian provinces including Ontario and Nova Scotia have also adopted PACE legislation.

When did Alberta adopt The Clean Energy Improvement Program?

The Government of Alberta passed PACE legislation in June of 2018, now known as The Clean Energy Improvement Program. Once we have successfully launched the pilot in the City of Edmonton and made necessary adjustments based on key learnings, other municipalities will be able to officially launch the program in its communities by adopting an enabling bylaw. 

Will The Clean Energy Improvement Program be successful in Alberta?

There is strong interest from several municipalities, urban and rural, to participate. Even though the program is still in its infancy, the general public has expressed a strong desire for more information. 

What is the biggest benefit of this program?

This program will make energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades more affordable and accessible to property owners by providing 100% of the upfront costs associated with the project. Because the repayment mechanism is supported by the property tax system, program costs are kept low for participants, and the obligation to repay stays with the property itself, meaning it is transferable upon the sale of the property. People typically experience greater savings on their utility bill than they pay out in annual assessment charges, leaving them better off financially. 

What is the term of the loan?

The term cannot exceed the probable useful life of the eligible product/improvement. If multiple upgrades are completed, the weighted average of the probable lifetimes of each upgrade will be used. 

Are water conservation measures eligible?

No. Only energy efficiency and renewable energy measures qualify for CEIP in Alberta

What happens if a homeowner defaults on the Clean Energy Improvement repayment?

Tax recovery methods already available to a municipality through the Municipal Government Act will be used to collected defaulted tax payments. 

Can property owners choose to repay the Clean Energy Improvement loan early?

Yes, penalty-free. 

I own a business and employ 50 sub-contractors. Do each of them need to become a CEIP-qualified contractor?

Yes.

Can you take advantage of both PACE and Energy Efficiency Alberta’s current incentive programs?

Yes.