Commercial

City of Edmonton

Commercial property owners in the City of Edmonton can finance up to 100% of their energy efficiency or renewable energy projects

The Clean Energy Improvement Program is a new way to finance energy efficiency upgrades or renewable energy installations in Alberta. Commercial property owners can finance projects with a competitive interest rate and repayment terms of up to 20 years (depending on the type of upgrade).

This financing tool is for property owners to help fund a minimum of three (3) commercial energy efficiency upgrades and/or renewable energy installations. The program makes repayment of the low-cost financing convenient through your building’s regular property tax bill.


The Clean Energy Improvement Program is a pilot-scale initiative in Edmonton designed to accelerate energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to existing eligible buildings as part of Edmonton’s Community Energy Transition Strategy and Action Plan. The Clean Energy Improvement Program is just one tool in the City’s toolbox designed to help the City achieve their net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions target by 2050.

The City of Edmonton’s commercial pilot program will provide financing for an estimated 20 commercial projects. Once the program has received approximately 20 pre-qualification forms, new submissions will be added to a waitlist and processed in the order they were received, as program capacity allows.

Highlights

City of Edmonton’s Commercial Clean Energy Improvement Program

For full program details, read the City of Edmonton Commercial CEIP Terms and Conditions.

Participant eligibility

Must be the legal owner of an existing non-residential or farm land property located in the City of Edmonton and meet all requirements listed in the City of Edmonton Commercial CEIP Terms and Conditions.

Eligible upgrades

A minimum of three upgrades must be installed for a CEIP Project to be eligible for financing. All eligible energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades are posted in the Commercial Eligible Upgrades list. Projects must have a minimum cost of $3,000 to qualify for financing. Solar PV financing is limited to a maximum of 90% of a Project’s total Eligible Cost.

Financing terms

The maximum financing term is the lesser of 20 years or the effective useful life (EUL) of the eligible upgrades. The EUL is the average time in years where the upgrade is expected to result in energy savings and is noted in the Commercial Eligible Upgrades list.

Interest rate

Property owners benefit from lower interest rates secured from lenders by the City of Edmonton.

Property eligibility: Non-Residential

Examples of eligible non-residential properties are privately-owned commercial properties designed for general commercial occupancy and used for business activities, (e.g., shopping centres, stores and restaurants), accommodation properties (e.g., hotels and motels); and special purpose properties that were built to suit a specific purpose (e.g., church, museum, recreational facility, golf course, and performing arts facilities).

The property must have 5 years of property tax payment history within the City of Edmonton.

Property eligibility: Farm land

Farm land properties are eligible if land is used for farming operations as defined in Alberta’s Matters Relating to Assessment and Taxation Regulation (MRAT), 2018.

How to Apply

  1. Check if your municipality is participating
  2. Review your municipality’s terms and conditions.
  3. If eligible, submit a pre-qualification form.

Ready to apply?

Available incentives

City of Edmonton Building Energy Benchmarking Program

Commercial property owners may be eligible for an ASHRAE Level 2 energy audit rebate under the City of Edmonton’s Building Energy Benchmarking Program. Participants whose energy audit is eligible for the Building Energy Benchmarking Program will be registered in the program. More information can be found in the City of Edmonton’s Commercial CEIP Terms and Conditions.

Building Energy Retrofit Accelerator Program

Commercial property owners whose upgrades are eligible for the City of Edmonton’s Building Energy Retrofit Accelerator Program will be registered in the program by the City of Edmonton.  All Municipal rebates that a property owner is eligible to receive for their upgrades will be used, at the sole discretion of the City of Edmonton to reduce the calculated Clean Energy Improvement Tax before it is applied to the tax roll; or to pay a portion of a Clean Energy Improvement Tax that has been added to the tax roll, reducing the annual amount owed.  More information can be found in the City of Edmonton’s Commercial CEIP Terms and Conditions.

Other Incentive Programs

Financial rebates, grants or incentives may be received by the property owners for any upgrades that are part of a Project. Programs that are not offered by the City of Edmonton, such as the Emissions Reduction Alberta Energy Savings for Business Program, will not impact the calculation of the final Clean Energy Improvement Tax.

Start your Commercial Clean Energy Improvement Program journey

Step 1: Pre-Qualification

Read the City of Edmonton’s Commercial CEIP Terms and Conditions then complete the Pre-Qualification Form with your property’s details. You must complete and submit the Pre-Qualification Form and the following documents to Alberta Municipalities to be considered for pre-qualification:

  • Proof the property to be upgraded is insured. Accepted proof includes documentation that clearly states the policy provider, policy number, property address, commercial liability coverage, and duration of the policy (e.g., insurance binder letter). At a minimum, the following must be included in the insurance policy:
    • Standard commercial broad form property insurance; and
    • $2 million in commercial liability insurance.
  • Proof that an ASHRAE Level 2 audit has been scheduled.
    • Acceptable proof includes a quote from an engineering consultant (who must be listed as a Qualified Contractor) stating the Property location, a list of audit requirements required under the Program, and the date the audit is scheduled to occur.
    • If an ASHRAE Level 2 audit has been completed within the 18 months prior to the Pre-Qualification Form submission date, and it meets the requirements of the Program (see Appendix A of the Edmonton Commercial CEIP Terms and Conditions), proof that an ASHRAE Level 2 audit has been scheduled is not required. A copy of the ASHRAE Level 2 audit report must be submitted to Alberta Municipalities with the Pre-Qualification Form.
Step 2: Energy Audit and Project Application

After the Pre-Qualification is approved by Alberta Municipalities, complete an ASHRAE Level 2 audit and submit the Project Application Form provided by Alberta Municipalities:

  1. If an ASHRAE Level 2 energy audit has not been completed within the last 18 months, have an engineering consultant listed as a Qualified Contractor to complete this audit.
    • The ASHRAE Level 2 audit must meet the minimum requirements outlined in Appendix A of the Edmonton CEIP Terms and Conditions.
    • A copy of the audit must be submitted to Alberta Municipalities at the time of project application.
    • The Property Owner must pay for the ASHRAE Level 2 audit out of pocket. In the Project Application Form, the Participant may request to finance the cost of the ASHRAE Level 2 audit; if financing is requested and approved, the Participant will be reimbursed in accordance with the Edmonton Commercial CEIP Terms and Conditions. To be eligible for financing, the ASHRAE Level 2 audit must be completed on or after the date of submission of a Pre-Qualification Form.
  2. If the project contains renewable energy upgrades, have an engineering consultant listed as a Qualified Contractor complete a feasibility study.
    • If a feasibility study was complete within the 18 months prior to the Pre-Qualification Form submission date, property owners are not required to complete another study.
    • A copy of the feasibility study must be submitted to Alberta Municipalities at the time of project application.
    • The feasibility study is in addition to the ASHRAE Level 2 audit.
    • The feasibility study is not required for Solar PV Upgrades.
  3. Using the ASHRAE Level 2 audit as a guide, decide which three or more upgrades you want to complete and finance through CEIP. The upgrades must be listed in the Commercial Eligible Upgrades list and must meet all eligibility requirements.
  4. Contact at least three Qualified Contractors to get quotes for the eligible upgrades you plan to finance.
  5. With the help of your Qualified Contractor(s), complete the Project Application Form and submit the completed form and all required supporting documentation to Alberta Municipalities.

In the Project Application Form, the Participant may request to finance the cost of the ASHRAE Level 2 audit; if financing is requested and approved, the Participant will be reimbursed in accordance with Section 8.2. To be eligible for financing, the ASHRAE Level 2 audit must be completed on or after the date of submission of a Pre-Qualification Form.

For Projects that contain renewable energy upgrades:

For Projects that include renewable energy upgrades, a feasibility study must be completed by an engineering consultant. If a feasibility study was completed within the 18 months prior to the Pre-Qualification Form submission date, property owners are not required to complete another study. A copy of the feasibility study must be submitted to Alberta Municipalities at the time of project application. The feasibility study is in addition to the ASHRAE Level 2 audit. A feasibility study is not required for Solar PV installations.

The Project Application must include all required supporting documentation and a quote for the equipment and installation cost of the upgrades from one or more Qualified Contractors listed on the CEIP Qualified Contractor Directory.

Step 3: Agreements

If the Project Application is approved, we will confirm the approved financing amount and provide the Clean Energy Improvement Agreement and the Project Agreement for your review and signature. Both agreements must be signed by all required parties before upgrade installations can begin.

What are the program agreements?

  • The Clean Energy Improvement Agreement is an agreement between the property owner and the municipality. It sets out the financing terms, disclosure requirements in the event of property sale, project costs, and the project completion deadline.
  • The Project Agreement is a tri-party agreement between the property owner, the Qualified Contractor, and Alberta Municipalities. It defines the scope of the project and sets out the terms relating to the Qualified Contractor’s installation of the upgrades. For projects where you are hiring more than one Qualified Contractor (e.g., solar installer, window installer), a Project Agreement will need to be signed with each contractor.
Step 4: Project Installation

After both agreements are signed, Alberta Municipalities will send an Installation Authorization Notice to the property owner and the Qualified Contractors, at which point upgrade installations can begin. All upgrades that are part of the project must be completed within one year of receiving the Installation Authorization Notice.

Step 5: Upgrade Completion

When the installation of an approved upgrade is complete you must submit an Upgrade Completion Form with all supporting documents, confirming final upgrade details and costs to Alberta Municipalities.

If your CEIP project has multiple upgrades completed at different times, multiple Upgrade Completion Forms will need to be submitted. Once the Upgrade Completion Form is processed and approved, Alberta Municipalities will pay your Qualified Contractor(s) directly.

Once all upgrades in your project are complete, and after Step 6 is complete, the City of Edmonton will confirm the final total financing amount and have you sign an updated Clean Energy Improvement Agreement.

Step 6: Post-project Memo

After all approved upgrades in a CEIP project are installed, a post-project Memo must be completed by your engineering consultant to determine the energy and greenhouse gas emissions savings and verify the installation. The Memo must be submitted to Alberta Municipalities within 6 weeks of the final Upgrade Completion Form being submitted.

Step 7: Repayment

Once the project is deemed complete, the approved project cost will be recorded on the property’s tax account. Any financial incentives approved by the City will be applied to this financing amount, reducing the total amount owing.

You will repay the cost of the project over time through the Clean Energy Improvement Tax added to your property’s tax bill. The outstanding balance may be paid as a one-time lump sum payment at any time during the repayment period.

How to Apply

  1. Check if your municipality is participating
  2. Review your municipality’s terms and conditions.
  3. If eligible, submit a pre-qualification form.

Ready to apply?

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is there a minimum of three upgrades to participate in the City of Edmonton’s CEIP programs?  

The City has set an aggressive target to be carbon neutral in its corporate operations by 2040 and for the entire community to produce net zero GHG emissions by 2050. CEIP is one tool to help them meet their targets. The requirement for multiple upgrades to qualify for CEIP financing ensures deeper green retrofits are supported.  

What will happen after the 2-year pilot?  

The City of Edmonton Administration will provide results of the pilot program to Council and among other things will:  

  • Determine if there is demand for this type of incentive by property owners (it has been clear within the first days of the program that this demand may exist),   
  • Measure impact on GHG reduction and renewable energy generation resulting from the upgrades, and the corresponding potential for a full-scale program,   
  • Measure the cost and effort should Council want to consider a full-scale program.  

Council will use these details to inform decisions on the program moving forward. 

City of Edmonton Qualified Contractors

Find a local contractor to upgrade your property. Browse the Contractor Directory to get started with a professional who already understands your financing requirements.