Canadians are eager to find new ways to make their homes energy efficient, and to generate more renewable energy. Municipalities of all sizes are ready to help—but don’t always know where to start.

Our $300 million initiative helps municipalities deliver energy financing programs for low-rise residential properties. Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), utility on-bill financing and third-party lending partnerships are just some examples of financing models used by municipalities delivering residential energy programming.

No matter what stage you’re at, we can help you reach your environmental goals, bring jobs to your community and build better lives. Our new funding and learning resources can help your municipality achieve the following:

  • Create, launch and expand home-energy upgrade financing programs for low-rise residential energy projects.
  • Generate triple-bottom-line benefits:
    • Reduce GHG emissions, create energy savings and contribute to climate adaptation, water conservation and health and safety outcomes
    • Accelerate energy cost savings, improve housing affordability and keep the local economy moving
    • Increase home comfort, health and quality of life for residents

About CEF funding

FCM offers support throughout the delivery of a home-energy upgrade financing program through the following funding options:

Community Efficiency Financing Application Guide
  • Studies: Explore your options, build on market research or assess program performance with feasibility, design and program evaluation studies 
  • Pilot projects: Test a smaller-scale version of your program in real-world settings; reserved for exceptional proposals that demonstrate clear market transformation potential and are otherwise ineligible for capital project funding
  • Capital projects: Access a grant combined with a low-interest loan or credit enhancement to implement a new program or scale up an existing model

Read our application guide for details.

Assess the potential for the types of home energy upgrade programs in your collectivity that would be eligible under FCM’s CEF initiative. Read the CEF market guide.

Update to Community Efficiency Financing (CEF) initiative criteria

As of June 30, 2023 (11:59 P.M. PT), all full applications received will be considered under updated CEF criteria. This update is for capital program applications only.

Why is this being updated?

The update has two strategic objectives:

  • Balanced geographic funding: increasing uptake in provinces and territories that have not yet launched capital programs with CEF funding and the adoption of diverse funding models beyond Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)
  • Raise the bar for innovation: supporting more diverse efficiency financing models, such as on-bill financing and direct lending programs in all regions of Canada. In addition, CEF will be prioritizing applications that underscore innovation in their program design; for example:
    • targeting deeper energy retrofits
    • higher GHG reductions
    • deploying new capacity development activities
    • new stakeholder/administration model
    • resiliency and adaptations components
    • and more

It does not include changes to the client application process.

The update will include Seed and Growth streams, which will not impact the application process for clients.

  • Seed stream: funding for underserved jurisdictions and underrepresented program financing models, specifically utility on-bill and third-party lender financing.
  • Growth stream: funding open to all other applications.

Deferral policy

The CEF update includes an application deferral policy of up to three months to prioritize the most innovative and strategic program applications if the initiative experiences oversubscription. There are no immediate plans to defer any applications and the policy will only be applied if needed.


Contact our Outreach team who can answer any questions regarding the CEF update.

FCM’s Community Efficiency Financing initiative is delivered through our Green Municipal Fund and funded by the Government of Canada.

Read the transcript

Featured resources

See featured resources, news, events and training related to Community Efficiency Financing.

E-learning courses: Tackling energy use in your municipal and community buildings

Learn how to improve the energy performance of buildings in your municipality

Read more

Resources: Community Efficiency Financing

Tools to implement your municipal home-energy upgrade financing program

Read more

Community Efficiency Financing market guide

Our guide helps municipalities and their partners across Canada to assess the potential for a local home energy upgrade program in their communities.

Read more

Video: Saskatoon delivers Saskatchewan’s first local home-energy financing program

Watch the video for a detailed walk-through of the City’s program design and implementation

Read more

Case studies

Read about initiatives your peers have run using GMF funding. Their stories are inspiring.

Case Study: An innovative path toward net-zero homes

How Better Homes Ottawa leveraged a private-sector partnership to finance home energy-efficiency retrofits.

Read more

Case Study: Making Alberta homes more energy efficient

How Alberta municipalities teamed up to access Community Efficiency Financing and retrofit homes across multiple communities.

Read more

Residential energy programs overcome barriers to financing retrofits in Toronto

FCM Sustainable Communities Award winner – Energy Program

Read more

Case Study: Helping Maritime homeowners boost energy efficiency

An innovative financing tool makes sustainable retrofits on single-family homes accessible to all

Read more

Have questions about Community Efficiency Financing?

Contact our Outreach team who can answer any questions you have relating to this funding opportunity.

Take me to CEF funding offer

Get funding to deliver home-energy upgrade financing programs for residential energy projects.

Learn more


Delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, GMF manages approximately $2.4B in programs funded by the Government of Canada.