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Stirling announces opening of new CEIP program

Posted on September 21, 2023 by admin

By Kenyon Stronski
Westwind Weekly News

The Clean Energy Improvement Program (CEIP) is a new initiative that has been adopted by many municipalities across Alberta as a way to introduce clean, energy efficient products to homeowners who may not have the means to pay for an improvement all at once. 

Scott Donselaar, CAO for the Village of Stirling said, “It was a good opportunity for us to help our residents also access energy improvements and efficiency to their homes which will help reduce the overall cost of operating their homes. In most ways of doing things you either have to have the financial liquidity to purchase the improvement right off the get-go or you’re looking at taking out some kind of loan or financing model in relation to that. Most of those financing models require you to have that paid off within a much shorter duration than the lifespan of the asset.”

CEIP in contrast uses a municipalities borrowing power to amortize it over the lifespan of the improvement. Donselaar noted this is for people who may not be able to afford the repayment under a traditional financing model. 

“This will cover things like solar, if you have old windows you can do an upgrade on them – there’s a number of upgrades you can do on your home. We looked at it as our ability to leverage what we have available to us to provide a benefit to our residents so they can realize more income into their households.”

The repayment method through Stirling will work like a local improvement tax – going against the property and not the individual owning it and it will be paid the same way as a property tax. 

“As an example, you can pay it off early if you’d like but if you take the average price of a solar improvement to a home it’s within the $15,000 range. The lifespan of a solar system is 20 years so you can actually amortize your payments over 20 years as opposed to five to 10 like most models do. If you look at it on a monthly payment schedule it’ll be maybe $30 to $40 a month that you’re paying to get that improvement added to your house. The same applies for windows, high efficiency furnaces and everything else.”

This would mean that in the event a property would have to be sold, the original owner could either pay off the tax themselves or they could work out a deal with the new owner to paying the tax off. This is because the tax is applied to the land and not the person. 

 

“If we can help people save on their heating and electric costs in their homes, that’s a win all the way around because that’s more disposable income in people’s pockets to do other things with.”

Over the past few years Stirling has done a multitude of improvements to its own operations in the pursuit of hitting that net-zero status and finding out ways to save costs. Donselaar said they’ve been seeing the improvements on their own savings within the municipality.

“It’s impacting our budget to reduce the overall expense on operating these facilities. Renewables are a market in and of themselves regardless of what people’s opinions are. Anything that can create energy efficiency and keep money in households should be a win – so we took this opportunity to help give others an opportunity to take that win for themselves.”

For any additional details on the program or for assistance in applying, visit myCEIP.ca/Stirling. 

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