Woodgreen Retrofit Project

Toronto , Ontario

November 1, 2020

Rating System/Standard

Efficiency Capital achieves Canada’s first IREE-certified efficiency project at WoodGreen Community Housing

Efficiency Capital’s comprehensive efficiency retrofit project at multiple WoodGreen Community Housing buildings is the first in Canada to achieve the internationally recognized Investor Ready Energy Efficiency (IREE) certification, based on the Investor Confidence Project (ICP) framework. The ICP framework gives funders the confidence that retrofit projects have undergone a standardized method of analysis that provides best-in-class development that is certified by an independent third-party.

Demonstrating that energy efficiency projects meet ICP certification requirements recognizes leadership in project development and implementation best practices, and ensures projects are well positioned to achieve their expected savings.

WoodGreen Community Services is a non-profit social service agency operating in the City of Toronto. It 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 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.

Project Development and Delivery by 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 building owners to fund, develop and manage sustainable upgrades that are guaranteed to reduce costs, decrease carbon footprints and increase asset value.

The first IREE-certified project in Canada met or exceeded all ICP framework requirements. This outstanding result exemplifies Efficiency Capital’s leadership in supporting the standardization of building efficiency upgrades and accelerating the development of Canada’s retrofit economy. Using ICP as a mechanism, Efficiency Capital’s unique investment, strategic development, and project management process facilitates market transformation by prioritizing building energy retrofits—benefiting both building owners and their communities.

To develop the business case to retrofit WoodGreen’s building portfolio, Efficiency Capital combined detailed technical energy analysis with occupant health and comfort considerations, as well as asset management and reserve fund options. The resulting retrofit project will not only reduce resource use and GHG emissions, but will also achieve best in class financial performance for occupants and managers.

Energy efficiency measures to be completed 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’s detailed commissioning, implementation, monitoring, measurement, and verification of the project’s performance was critical to the project’s success. This work will enable the transformation of WoodGreen’s aging building stock while also improving tenant safety and comfort.

Efficiency Capital’s approach to project development, stakeholder engagement, and its delivery methods offer a road map to achieve greater levels of retrofit activity and infrastructure renewal across Canada.

Unique Funding Approach by Efficiency Capital, WoodGreen, and the City of Toronto

Leveraging its Energy Savings Performance Agreement™ (ESPA) funding, Efficiency Capital developed and funded in the WoodGreen project with long-term performance and optimization in mind. Efficiency Capital’s unique investment and funding strategy helped WoodGreen leverage $1.3 million in reserve funds into a $3.4 million retrofit project which is projected to save over $5.7 million in utility savings over the useful life of the equipment, which will be used to finance the project over that time.

In addition to the utility savings, the retrofit extends asset longevity and improves building performance and tenant comfort, while decreasing monthly contributions to capital reserves. The efficiency project will improve WoodGreen’s long-term capital plan by avoiding future capital costs. The net effect is a further $6.1 million benefit to their reserves.

About the ICP and IREE

Completing effective building energy reduction projects represents one of the most affordable ways to cut national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Such projects also hold the most potential for energy savings and could unlock billions of dollars in economic opportunity. There are various reasons that these opportunities are not being realized, and market barriers that impede the development and implementation of projects, including relatively large capital fund requirements, the overall retrofit market capacity, and a lack of industry standardization.

To address some market barriers and support the development of more energy efficiency retrofits, the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) and Green Business Certification Inc. Canada (GBCI Canada) launched the ICP framework and the IREE certification in Canada.

Projects that achieve IREE certification complete an independent third-party due-diligence review in five key project development and implementation areas – shown below. Achieving IREE certification recognizes projects for following best practices due diligence, helps increase the reliability of anticipated energy savings, and provides greater project assurance for all stakeholders. Through reduced investment risk and increased standardization, the ICP framework and its IREE certification is poised to support the further development of an effective and robust retrofit economy in Canada.

Developer and Funder

Lead Project Engineer


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