Innovative financing models – like utility on-bill financing and third-party lending – can help residents afford the high cost of energy upgrades and contribute to local greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions.

Since 2012, the City of Nelson, BC, has been offering an on-bill financing program for home energy upgrades. The Nelson EcoSave program, which expanded into the broader Regional District of Central Kootenay to form the Regional Energy Efficiency Program (REEP) in 2019, helps homeowners access low-interest financing and support to retrofit their homes. Nelson residents can borrow up to $16,000 through the city’s electric utility, Nelson Hydro, and repay it on their electric bills, while other residents can access low-interest loans through local credit unions in the region.

The program also offers a range of other services for homeowners and industry partners, from EnerGuide energy evaluations and customized support, to free training courses and information sessions for residents and contractors. The program has helped more than 1,500 residents improve their homes, including 750 residents in the past three years alone.

In this video, Carmen Proctor, Climate & Energy Manager at the City of Nelson, tells the story of the program’s success to date, shares key lessons learned from running the program, and highlights their next steps to scale up the program.

What you’ll learn from this video:

  • Approaches for structuring a program with different financing models, including utility on-bill financing and third-party lending
  • Recommendations for designing a program that supports residents and your local context
  • Techniques to help you maximize your program’s impact and reach


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