July 8, 2019

City of Toronto and The Atmospheric Fund, Ontario
Accelerating deep energy retrofits across multi-residential buildings
Sector: Energy
GMF grant: $750,000
GMF loan: $5,000,000

The Atmospheric Fund (TAF), in partnership with the City of Toronto, will implement heating and cooling retrofits to four multi-residential buildings in downtown Toronto and Hamilton. One rental apartment building, one condominium and two low-income social housing buildings will be retrofitted, representing nearly 800 households.

A variety of technologies will be used to retrofit the four buildings. These include solar photovoltaic panels for domestic hot water or electricity, variable frequency drives for heating controls, air sealing/weatherization measures, and ground-and-air-source heat pumps. TAF will undertake a comprehensive monitoring process to verify that expected energy savings continue to materialize throughout the life of the newly installed systems.

TAF will manage the project with advisory support and procurement assistance from the City of Toronto. 

Innovative aspects

  • The project has a high potential for replicability in other large urban centres
  • The knowledge value of the initiative lies on TAF’s focus on the business and financial case of the energy retrofits across the four buildings to help build market confidence and credibility of heat pump technologies

Environmental benefits

  • The project will reduce energy consumption in the four multi-residential buildings by 40%
  • The City of Toronto’s TransformTO climate action plan supports the project as part of its long-term approach to reducing emissions by 80% in Toronto by 2050
  • Further investigation may reveal opportunities for reducing water consumption as well, through measures such as low-flow fixtures and ultra-low-flow toilets

Economic benefits

  • The range of building types and ownership structures included in this project will demonstrate the value of deep-energy retrofits in the greater housing market
  • The project could result in a framework for revitalizing affordable social housing, where the adoption of a practical financing tool for rental or social housing providers would enable them to repay loan capital as a percentage of verified energy savings that are guaranteed and insured

Social benefits

  • The project will result in healthier living spaces through reduced greenhouse gas emissions of approximately 1,300 tonnes of C02e/year (the equivalent of 141 homes’ energy use for one year) and reduced criteria air contaminants of approximately 6,800 kg/year
  • By addressing the energy performance of affordable and social housing, the long-term affordability of energy costs to families and housing providers can be addressed
Green Municipal Fund
© 2019 Federation of Canadian Municipalities