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Updated funding from FCM’s Green Municipal Fund 

What is happening?

FCM’s Green Municipal Fund has redesigned its longstanding funding offer better to support Canadian municipalities in delivering high-impact sustainability projects. The refreshed offer is designed to help deliver high-impact projects and achieve a multitude of environmental, social, and economic benefits for local communities.  

New features
  • Flexible, more easily adaptable to the changing needs and opportunities of municipalities.
  • Better positioned to accelerate municipal transformation to net zero.
  • Easily adaptable to the changing needs and opportunities of municipalities.
  • Designed to support projects that solve more than one sustainability challenge at a time.
What are the new funding areas?

GMF’s updated funding is providing grants and loans in five focus areas: 

The maximum award available to Canadian municipalities and their partners:  

Grants from $200-500k for up to 50 percent of eligible costs:   

  • Small communities, northern communities and eligible Indigenous communities may qualify for a grant of up to 80 percent of eligible project costs for plans, studies and pilot projects.  
  • Northern and eligible Indigenous communities applying to GMF for the first time may qualify for a grant of up to 100 percent of eligible costs
Combined grant and loan to a maximum of $10M for up to 80 percent of eligible costs:  
  • Grant up to 15 percent of the total loan amount  
  • Additional 5 percent grant available if the project involves the remediation of a brownfield site 
Are there any other eligibility criteria for the updated offer? 

Yes, there are a number of other criteria municipalities should keep in mind when applying for GMF funding. Successful applications under GMF’s updated funding will clearly consider or address the following criteria in addition to criteria specific to each funding product: 

  • Projects must meet minimum requirements related to climate resilience: 
    • Pilot and capital projects that include new infrastructure assets must be built outside the current 100-year floodplain of the most recent floodplain map, unless evidence can be provided of protection to safeguard the asset.
    • Projects with new infrastructure assets valued over $2 million must conduct a Climate Risk Assessment (i.e., Infrastructure Canada Climate lens, ISO 14091, PIEVC High Level Screening Guide or equivalent) and address risks identified. A Climate Risk Assessment must be included in study workplans (where relevant) and is submitted as part of the pre-application for relevant pilot and capital projects.
  • Equity considerations: GMF recognizes that many urgent social issues are interrelated, and that climate action and sustainability initiatives need to be designed to ensure fair distribution of benefits and burdens, across all segments of a community and across generations. Projects will be assessed on their potential to result in improved socio-economic outcomes and a more equitable distribution of benefits and burdens among the community, for present and future generations. While projects can be eligible without incorporating these considerations, preference is given to projects that: 
    • integrate principles of Anti-Racism, Equity and Inclusion, and Reconciliation (AREI+R) 
    • apply inclusive community engagement practices 
    • implement social procurement 
    • generate significant socio-economic benefits, such as increased accessibility, improved outdoor spaces, and inclusive employment and apprenticeship
  • Multi-solving: GMF seeks to fund the very best examples of municipal initiatives that achieve a multitude of benefits for the environment, communities and local economies. Higher application evaluation scores are given to projects that demonstrate excellence in one or more of the following areas: 
    • potable water conservation 
    • sustainable materials management 
    • biodiversity 
    • other environmental benefits 
    • socio-economic benefits  
    • meaningful engagement and collaboration with rightsholders and stakeholders 
    • other criteria specific to each funding area 
  • Please see individual offer pages for specific eligibility criteria. Explore our new funding.

Will Quebec municipalities be eligible for the changing offer?  

FCM has an agreement with Quebec's ministère des Affaires municipales et de l'Habitation (MAMH) Opens in a new tab. that allows the ministry to review applications to GMF before they are submitted to FCM. Quebec municipalities applying for funding from GMF must follow the process below to submit their application to MAMH.

Once you have completed all the steps in the ‘How to apply’ section, submit your application by following the steps below. Note that the content of the links is available in French only.

  • Save your application form using the appropriate file name.
    • Save the application form to your local device with the following filename: FMV_ "your municipality's name"_ "date" (YYMMDD). For example: FMV_TownofABC_180228.pdf
  • Log in to the Portail gouvernemental des affaires municipales et régionales using your username and password.
    • To submit your form click on “File Transfer”.
    • In the “Recipient” drop-down list, select the applicable program.
    • Upload your files and press “Transfer” once your request is complete.
  • Receive confirmation from MAMH.
    • MAMH assesses the applications to ensure that the projects submitted do not conflict with Quebec's government policies and directives. Once the assessment has been completed, MAMH informs the applicant of their decision and sends compliant applications to GMF for review.
    • MAMH requires up to 15 working days to review the application and forward it to GMF.
  • Receive approval from GMF.
    • GMF will inform the applicant once they receive the application from MAMH and review the submission. If the application is approved for funding, an agreement between FCM and the applicant is prepared.

General

Is GMF funding stackable with other funding sources?  

Yes, GMF allows funding to be stacked with provincial, territorial and federal funding. Cash contributions from other entities can also help to ensure your project is fully financially committed. 

Note that for feasibility study applications only, GMF grants can’t be stacked with federal funding.  

What are your interest rates for capital project loans? 

GMF offers competitive, low-interest loans in addition to grants. The grant portion helps offset, in part or in full, the interest collected on the loan (up to 15 percent of the loan amount). 

Note that specific interest rates are determined at contract signing and vary from project to project, depending on the credit risk analysis of the lead applicant and project, the amortization period and other factors.

Application

Where can I get more information on how to prepare my application for submission?

The GMF funding opportunities web page provides information on the requirements for each funding offer, access to application guides and templates, and instructions on how to apply through GMF’s funding portal. Before beginning your application submission, you are strongly encouraged to carefully read all sections of the funding description as well as the application guide for more details. 

What does it mean to be a lead applicant?  

A lead applicant is defined as the municipal or non-municipal entity that will enter into a contract with GMF to receive funding. The lead applicant will also incur all costs related to the project and be responsible for different types of reporting to GMF (e.g., project completion report).

Note that only costs that are invoiced in the name of the lead applicant are eligible for reimbursement. 

How can I apply?

Sustainable municipal buildings, community energy systems, municipal fleet electrification, organic waste to energy and net-zero transformation

To apply for GMF funding, you must submit:  

  • a pre-application form  
  • an application form  
  • a project workbook  
  • all required supporting documents specified in the offer guide  

A GMF project officer will be your point of contact throughout the process and will review your file and provide feedback. You may be asked to revisit some steps to help you submit a complete and high-quality application. Please consult the application guide for more details. 

Application process

  • Phase 1: Pre-application submission  
    • Create a client profile and submit a pre-application form through FCM’s funding portal.
  • Phase 2: Eligibility determination   
    • GMF will review your application and determine if you are eligible to proceed to the next stage of the application process. You will receive a response within 15 business days of the date we receive your pre-application form.  
  • Phase 3: Full application submission  
    • If you are eligible, you will be invited to fill out the full application form, available through FCM’s funding portal. This does not guarantee that the project will be approved for funding.    
    • You will be provided with a project workbook template to submit with the full application form.  Contact GMF if you have any questions when completing the application form. Once your application is complete, submit through the FCM funding portal.  
  • Phase 4: GMF project officer review  
    • GMF will review your application for accuracy and completeness and will work with you to resolve any remaining questions.  
  • Phase 5: Peer review and internal review  
    • An external expert peer review panel evaluates all capital project and study applications. GMF staff evaluate business case applications. There will also be an internal analysis to provide a funding recommendation to GMF’s managing director, the GMF Council and FCM’s Board of Directors.  
  • Phase 6: FCM funding decision   
    • Business cases and studies: you should receive a decision three to five months after your full application form submission.  
    • Capital projects: you should receive a decision four to six months after your full application form submission.  

Please see individual offer pages for specific eligibility criteria. Explore our new funding.

Community Efficiency Financing

Please read the CEF application guide for more details.

Sustainable Affordable Housing

Please read the SAH application guide for more details.

Community Buildings Retrofit

Please read the CBR application guide for more details. 

Tree planting funding 

GMF’s Growing Canada’s Community Canopies (GCCC) initiative funds new tree canopy expansion projects. For full details about funding amounts, deadlines, who is eligible to apply and how, can be found on the Tree planting funding webpage. 

Adaptation in Action funding 

Discover full details on feasibility studies and implementation projects, funded through the GMF’s Local Leadership for Climate Adaptation initiative.

Eligibility

Who can apply for GMF funding?

Sustainable municipal buildings, community energy systems, municipal fleet electrification, organic waste to energy and net-zero transformation

Canadian municipal governments and organizations applying in partnership with a municipal government can apply. Partnership organizations may be private-sector entities; Indigenous communities who partner with a Canadian municipal government on an eligible project or have a shared service agreement with a Canadian municipal government related to municipal infrastructure, climate change or adaptation; municipally-owned corporations; a regional, provincial or territorial organization delivering municipal services; non-governmental organizations; not-for-profit organizations; and research institutions.

Community Efficiency Financing

Canadian municipal governments and organizations applying in partnership with a municipal government can apply. Partnership organizations may be private-sector entities; Indigenous communities; municipally owned corporations; a regional, provincial or territorial organization delivering municipal services; non-governmental organizations; not-for-profit organizations; and research institutions.

Homeowners, federal government entities and any organizations established by them, and provincial and territorial government entities and any corporation that they own or control, are not eligible to receive funds directly.

Sustainable Affordable Housing

Canadian municipal governments, municipally owned corporations (e.g., municipal housing service providers) and not-for-profit, mission-driven affordable housing providers (including cooperatives) can apply for funding.

Federal, provincial and for-profit entities are not eligible to receive funding.

Community Buildings Retrofit

All Canadian municipal governments except the Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3) namesake municipalities (the cities of Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, and Halifax Regional Municipality) can apply for funding.

Are Indigenous communities eligible to apply? 

Yes, Indigenous communities can apply in any of the following situations:

  • They are working on an eligible project in partnership with a municipality.
  • A province or territory has passed an act or regulation that affords them the status of municipality.
  • The Indigenous community has a shared service agreement with a municipality related to municipal infrastructure, climate change or adaptation.

What projects are eligible for GMF funding?

Sustainable municipal buildings, community energy systems, municipal fleet electrification, organic waste to energy and net-zero transformation

GMF funds the following types of projects:

Sustainable municipal buildings 

  • New builds of municipal buildings and community buildings.
  • Deep-energy retrofits of municipal buildings. 
  • Feasibility studies that plot a pathway to reduce GHG emissions in municipal buildings over time. 
  • New construction studies for highly efficient municipal and community buildings. 

Community energy systems 

  • Recovered or renewable thermal energy in new or existing facilities.  
  • District heating and cooling capital projects for new or existing buildings. 
  • 100% renewable electricity generation capital projects.  
  • Business cases that help municipalities identify the right technologies, while considering best practices, the local context, potential partners, GHG reductions, and financial rates of return.  
  • Feasibility studies that further identify and design the ideal community energy system while maximizing community benefits.  
  • Capital projects that demonstrate significant environmental and social benefits, as well as a strong businesses case.  

Municipal fleet electrification 

  • Capital projects that include:  
    • the replacement of internal combustion engine vehicles with ZEVs
    • the required EV supply equipment (EVSE).
    • any required facility upgrades to existing buildings
  • Studies that assess the feasibility of the transition to ZEVs that also:  
    • consider the entire municipal and/or transit fleet
    • include lifecycle total cost of ownership and GHG emission analysis
    • examine economic, social and other environmental impacts of the transition to ZEV

Organic waste-to-energy 

  • Projects that generate energy from landfill gas, anaerobic digestion, or aerobic composting with heat recovery.
  • Energy systems that use organic feedstocks including food waste, yard waste, biosolids, or the organic fraction of construction/demolition waste, packaging, agricultural or forestry waste.
  • Business cases that assess viable waste-to-energy systems and business models for a given site and/or feedstock.
  • Detailed technical assessments outlining the design of a proposed organic waste-to-energy system.
  • Construction of organic waste to energy systems.

Net-zero transformation

GMF’s Net-Zero Transformation offer develops and demonstrates new solutions to support the municipal transition to net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It aims to help Canadian municipalities of all sizes, and their partners, undertake innovative and replicable initiatives that have significant GHG reduction benefits, and that are not eligible under other GMF funding offers.   

Examples of what we fund include but are not limited to:

  • Retrofit techniques that significantly reduce costs and shorten payback periods.
  • Funding mechanisms or incentives to accelerate zero-carbon new builds and retrofits.
  • Regenerative buildings that contribute net-positive environmental benefits.
  • Microgrids and battery storage that help meet peak electricity demand and add resilience to local grids.
  • Integrated modal shift and transportation demand management (TDM) strategies that address potential rebound effects.
  • Resilient, net-zero, inclusive and complete neighbourhoods.
  • Net-zero and net-positive water and wastewater systems.
  • Local circular economy initiatives for apparel textiles or construction / demolition materials that currently go to landfill.
  • Bio-covers or bio-filters for landfill gas mitigation for small or inactive landfills.
  • Brownfield initiatives that apply in-situ remediation approaches, employ renewable energy, reuse soil and demolition materials, and restore the site’s ecological features.

For an overview of all eligibility criteria that apply to your project, please see the GMF funding opportunities page to find more information on specific funding offers.

Community Efficiency Financing

CEF funds the following types of financing models: property assessed clean energy (PACE) local improvement charge (LIC), utility on-bill financing or direct lending via financial institutions; or a combination thereof.

Programs with any of the following characteristics are ineligible: 

  • programs that do not involve municipal participation and buy-in
  • programs that do not have a financing component (e.g., incentive-only programs) 
  • programs targeted at financing for non-residential buildings (e.g., small businesses)
  • programs that support new residential developments

For more details, please consult the CEF application guide.

Sustainable Affordable Housing

SAH funds projects that generate the following triple-bottom-line benefits:  

  • environmental: reduces energy and intensity of greenhouse gas emissions 
  • economic: increases energy and housing affordability 
  • social: improves building quality and increases comfort, health and quality of life for residents

For more details, please consult the SAH application guide.

Community Buildings Retrofit

CBR funding is available for projects that focus on community buildings that are:

  • owned by a municipal government or not-for-profit organization
  • primarily used to provide athletic, recreational, cultural and community programs or services to the local community
  • widely accessible to everyone, offering services that enhance the health and well-being, skills development and economic development of individuals and communities

Community buildings include: 

  • athletic facilities, such as indoor rinks, sports arenas, swimming pools and gyms
  • recreational facilities, including recreation centres and clubhouses
  • cultural facilities, including performing arts centres, art galleries, auditoriums and libraries
  • community buildings, including community centres, seniors centres and clubs, and halls

Projects focused on multi-purpose buildings that house one or more of the above community services alongside other services or administrative functions are eligible for CBR funding. Projects including other standalone municipal buildings (e.g., city hall and administrative buildings, fire halls, emergency medical services facilities and public works buildings) are also eligible for funding if the standalone building is part of a portfolio of buildings that includes community buildings.

For more details, please consult the CBR application guide

Is there a minimum level of energy efficiency, renewable energy and/or GHG savings required to be eligible to apply?  

Sustainable municipal buildings, community energy systems, municipal fleet electrification, and organic waste to energy projects funded through this category specify a minimum environmental target to be achieved that varies by project. For an overview of all eligibility criteria that apply to your project, please see the GMF funding opportunities page to find more information on specific funding offers.

Community Efficiency Financing

CEF does not currently prescribe any minimum environmental or energy performance targets for eligible financing programs. However, we encourage programs to target energy efficiency and/or renewable energy measures that will maximize opportunities for both energy savings and greenhouse gas emissions reductions in participating homes. Programs that favour deep retrofits are more likely to score higher during the evaluation process than programs that accommodate “light,” single-measure home upgrades. 

Sustainable Affordable Housing

Retrofit projects funded by SAH must aim to achieve a minimum of 25 percent reduction in building energy consumption from current performance. Further incentives are offered for projects that achieve greater reductions, up to 50 percent, compared to current rates. A maximum of 10 percent of the total energy reduction from a building’s baseline performance can come from on-site renewable energy generation (note: geothermal heating is not considered renewable). 

New build projects funded by SAH must be working towards net-zero energy (NZE) or net-zero energy ready (NZER). An NZER building is a high-performance building with very low energy demand. Buildings in most regions must target a net annual total energy use intensity (TEUI) of less than 80 kWh/m2 at project completion. The positive impact of renewable energy generation may be included in the total energy use calculation.

Northern applicants may target a net annual TEUI of up to 120 kWh/m2. This target can be achieved through a range of building performance standards (e.g., Passive House© or Canada Green Building Council’s Zero Carbon Building).

Note that SAH-funded projects that meet the required energy criteria (above) are accepted as affordable housing if rents for at least 30 percent of the units are less than 80 percent of the local median market rent. This must be maintained for the duration of the loan repayment period with GMF.

For more details, please consult the SAH application guide.

Community Buildings Retrofit

A CBR-funded feasibility study and greenhouse gas reduction pathway capital project must aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent compared to the current or baseline performance of the building within 10 years and by at least 80 percent (i.e., near net-zero emissions) within 20 years.

A CBR-funded impact retrofit capital project must aim to reduce emissions by at least 30 percent compared to the current or baseline performance of the building.

For more details, please consult the CBR application guide.

Need help to see if this is the right funding for you?

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