April 18th, 2013
Energy Savings: Financing Efficiency through LICs
Case Study on Halifax’s Solar City Program
“We are like tenant farmers chopping down
the fence around our house for fuel when we
should be using Nature's inexhaustible
sources of energy — sun, wind and tide. ... I'd
put my money on the sun and solar energy.
What a source of power! I hope we don't have
to wait until oil and coal run out before we
Stefan Tylak, M.Sc., Solar City Program Officer Thomas Edison, 1931
firstname.lastname@example.org, (902) 490-2584
A Brief History:
How did we get ourselves into this?
• Initiative born out of corporate experiences – energy efficiency,
renewables (geothermal/solar)…many lessons to be learned!
• Council’s commitment to reduce GHG emissions by 20% by 2012
• Halifax achieved Fifth Milestone (Corporately) of PCP Program
• Meeting the target Corporately – 20 k tonnes of GHG reductions
through $15 M of energy efficiency & renewables
• Having a tough time scaling up / engaging community
• 3 economic lenses to the program – residents’, industry, municipality -
$1.5 B spent on energy in Halifax
A Brief History:
• Project development initiated in July 2010 – Solar Water Heating (to start)
• Vision – first Solar City in Canada!
• Framework is much more than just the LIC!
• Key concepts – residential focus, turnkey contracting and financing, achieve
economies of scale and QC
• Province passed legislative amendment to HRM Charter in November 2010 to
secure first lien rights for energy improvements. First jurisdiction in Canada
• Halifax created by-law in Spring of 2012 (similar to current LIC bylaws) to
enable financing mechanism
Results of public engagement
• Held 5 public sessions with turnout of 1,000 citizens –
Energy, Environment & Economy
• Extraordinary amount of media attention and public
interest – The vision? The Sign-up system? The
• Visit www.halifax.ca/solarcity to see more
Solar City is aiming to install
1000 systems in 18 months.
In 2010, there were about
800 solar thermal installs in
all of Canada; 200 of which
were in Nova Scotia.
What was basis for financial model?
• Simplicity for the residents
• Costs 100% recovered by municipality. No cross
subsidization from non-participating tax base –
user pay program
• Reasonable amortization
• High level of quality control
• Total Program Budget $8 M
FCM Green Municipal Fund $5.5 M low-interest loan,
$550 k grant
• Cost / home (inc. rebates & HST) $6000 - $7500
• Solar Hot Water Rebates $2000
• # of participants 1000 (700/300)
• Admin cost $600 k
• Average homeowner payment $800/year (incl. HST)
• Range of ROIs - 2 % to 14 %
• Term 10 years
• Financing interest 3.5%
Current Status GHG reductions from
solar water heating is
higher in NS than
anywhere else in Canada
due to heavy reliance on
coal fired electricity and
• 1600 residents signed up, oil heating
700 on the first day!
• Regional Council approved launch on Dec. 11th, 2012
• 2 - 3 month ramp-up period
• Four open houses since launch, with 400 in attendance
• > 120 homes assessed; 23 screened out
• 80 offers sent, 17 contracts signed
• 7 systems installed, with ribbon cutting Apr 23rd!
• Visit www.halifax.ca/solarcity
Lessons Learned So Far …
• Communications team involved from the start
• Do the financial/legal homework – and double
• Do not under estimate how difficult it is to make
simple – lots of trail blazing!
• Dialogue and team work (Council, Homeowners,
Legal, Finance, etc.)
An interesting last graphic…
wide scale community support…
Stefan Tylak, M.Sc., Solar City Program Officer For project updates visit:
email@example.com, (902) 490-2584 www.halifax.ca/solarcity