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Partners for Climate Protection

Revolving funds

Revolving funds pool capital using federal, provincial or municipal funds, which can then be loaned out to finance infrastructure or other municipal projects. FCM's Green Municipal Fund is a classic example of a revolving fund; an endowment by the federal government allows FCM to offer low-interest loans and grants to municipalities for a variety of sustainable infrastructure projects. Money is repaid into the fund, and can then be loaned out again.


Any municipal infrastructure type; however, many Canadian municipal revolving funds have been used to fund building retrofit programs.


  • Cash is readily available for projects, and continues to be available as long as loans are repaid.
  • They fund projects that meet municipal goals (emission reductions, cost savings, efficiencies, etc.)

Barriers and challenges

  • Municipalities must first come up with sufficient capital to make a revolving fund worthwhile; a challenge in smaller communities.
  • There are additional costs to set up, oversee and administer the fund.
  • Municipalities may not have extra funds to provide the seed capital.

Resources and notes

Municipal examples

  • Toronto, ON's Better Buildings Partnership is a city-to-business program that provides expertise, resources and financial incentives; and assistance to building owners, managers and developers to successfully implement energy efficiency measures in existing and new buildings.
  • The Toronto Atmospheric Fund is an agency of the City of Toronto, established in 1991. It is a self-sustaining, revolving fund that incubates and finances innovative local solutions to accelerate GHG emission reductions.
  • Edmonton, AB's $30 million Energy Management Revolving Fund finances energy retrofits of city facilities. The loans must be repaid over a period of up to eight years, with exceptions of up to 10 years, and are repaid through the energy utility savings.
  • The U.S. Clean Water State Revolving Fund is administered by the Environmental Protection Agency and provides loans to construct municipal wastewater facilities and to implement source-control protection projects.

Page Updated: 18/09/2015