Efficiency Capital’s energy efficiency retrofit project across several WoodGreen Community Housing buildings is the first project in Canada to achieve the Investor Ready Energy Efficiency (IREE) certification from Green Business Certification Inc. Canada (GBCI Canada).

The WoodGreen project involved seven sites, with planned efficiency measures expected to achieve: 

  • Annual savings of over $141,000 (17%) in utility costs.
  • Reduce energy consumption by over 1.7 gigawatt hours (enough power for over 50 single family homes annually in ON)
  • Reduce annual emissions footprint by 250 tonnes of CO2e (14%)
  • Guaranteed savings for the first 10 years of the project.

WoodGreen Community Services

This non-profit social service agency operating in the City of Toronto supports housing for over 37,000 people at 12 housing sites. As cities strive to improve housing affordability and reduce building emissions, infrastructure renewal and replacements at multi-family non-profit housing like WoodGreen represents a great opportunity to reduce energy use and costs. To take advantage of these opportunities, housing providers are partnering with the private sector in innovative ways, which is helping to increase the retrofit activity that is critical for achieving overall climate mitigation and affordability goals.

The WoodGreen Retrofit Project successfully addressed a backlog of deferred maintenance and asset renewals, ensuring WoodGreen’s financial health while decreasing its environmental footprint and improving occupant comfort and safety.

Energy efficiency measures carried out at the building sites include:

  • New high efficiency boilers and air-cooled chiller installations and improvements 
  • Air infiltration improvements 
  • Building automation system upgrades
  • Pump and heating system improvements
  • Water fixture replacements
  • Lighting upgrades
Efficiency Capital IREE Certification for Woodgreen Project Toronto Green Affordable Housing
Efficiency Capital IREE Certification for Woodgreen Project Toronto Green Affordable Housing

“We congratulate Efficiency Capital on achieving Canada’s first Investor Ready Energy Efficiency (IREE) certification. Through a certification like IREE, projects can more easily unlock the financing needed to accelerate the implementation of high-quality retrofits,”

said Thomas Mueller, President and CEO of GBCI Canada and Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC).

“This project shows that energy-efficient retrofits in residential buildings, including non-profit housing, can play a key role in helping Canada achieve its climate mitigation goals.”

IREE certification is based on GBCI’s Investor Confidence Project (ICP) framework, which offers funders the confidence that any retrofit projects have been qualified by a standardized method of analysis that is certified by an independent third-party. Efficiency Capital funds and develops efficiency retrofit projects to offer performance-based investment solutions to improve the energy efficiency of buildings with no upfront cost to building owners.

“We follow a very high project development and verification standard in order to satisfy our funders,”

said Matt Zipchen, President of Efficiency Capital.

“New sources of capital must enter the sector if we are to achieve our climate goal. With IREE certification, we’re providing a standardized mechanism for more mainstream investors to come to the table. Such certification tools are critical for reducing both the risk and the due diligence required for pooling and funding efficiency retrofits at scale.”

Multi-residential, social housing, industrial, commercial building owners rely on Efficiency Capital to fund, develop and manage sustainable upgrades. Their unique investment and funding strategy helped WoodGreen leverage $1.3 million in reserve funds into a $3.4 million retrofit project projected to achieve over $5.7 million in utility savings over the useful life of the equipment.

Completing independent certification provides investors with additional confidence by ensuring that developed retrofit projects are well-positioned to achieve their expected savings, which allows building owners and operators to focus on their operational needs.

About Efficiency Capital

Offering energy savings as a service, Efficiency Capital is a unique performance-based investment solutions provider that upgrades the energy and environmental performance of buildings with no upfront cost to the owner. Efficiency Capital partners with multi-residential, social housing, commercial, industrial and institutional building owners to fund, develop and manage sustainable upgrades. Guaranteed to reduce costs, decrease carbon footprints and increase asset value, Efficiency Capital offers an array of funding solutions, with the primary solution being the award-winning ESPATM (Energy Savings Performance Agreement) developed by The Atmospheric Fund (TAF).

About GBCI Canada

Jointly owned by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) and Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), GBCI Canada accelerates green building market transformation and impact in Canada. GBCI Canada provides customer service and certification services in Canada with its suite of offerings, which include the LEED green building rating systems, as well as the Investor Confidence Project (ICP) for energy efficiency retrofits, TRUE, a zero waste system, the PEER standard for power systems, the WELL Building Standard, and the Sustainable SITES Initiative (SITES) for land use.

About Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC)

CaGBC is the leading national organization dedicated to advancing green building, building retrofit, and sustainable community development practices. As the voice of green building in Canada, CaGBC works with industry and government at the local, provincial, and national levels to make every building greener. CaGBC focuses on reducing carbon emissions and the overall environmental impacts of buildings while improving occupant health and contributing to a vibrant low-carbon economy. To accomplish this, CaGBC sets and verifies advanced green building standards, conducts government advocacy and market research, and provides education and training that has reached over 45,000 Canadian professionals since 2002. In 2004, CaGBC established the LEED® green building rating system for homes in Canada and developed the first Zero Carbon Building Standard in 2017. CaGBC is a member of the World Green Building Council, supporting international efforts to reduce environmental impacts and enhance global health in buildings and communities. 

Now you know more about Efficiency Capital’s energy efficiency retrofit project for affordable housing in Ontario. Learn more about energy efficient home design, reducing carbon emissions and how to build for a changing climate in these pages:

Are Better Insulated Homes Worth the Money?

Why Electric Heating Systems are Best for Sustainable Homes

Resilient Homes: Future proofing Buildings for a Changing Climate

The worlds tallest Passive House in Vancouver

The EC3 Tool - Skanska - Calculating & Comparing Carbon Footprint of Buildings

Find more about green home construction in the Ecohome Green Building Guide pages - also, learn more about the benefits of a free Ecohome Network Membership here.