BMO to offer first-of-its-kind financing opportunity with building retrofits

Contributed article on May 15, 2023

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CO2 emissions from the building sector are the highest ever recorded.This link takes you to a third-party site.. In Canada, approximately 10 million buildings can benefit from energy efficiency retrofits—improvements to building systems and fixtures that generate savings on utilities while reducing carbon emissions. In response to this challenge, BMO has launched a first-of-its-kind program to help Canadian commercial building owners secure the financing they need to execute energy retrofits of their properties to help meet the country’s net-zero emissions goals.

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“We’re proud to be at the leading edge of sustainable finance innovation in the real estate sector. Many of our clients have ambitious sustainability agendas and we’re excited to offer them our unique retrofits platform to support their goals,” said Michael Beg SVP & Head, Real Estate Finance, BMO Commercial Bank.

In collaboration with the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB), BMO is the first bank in Canada to offer a financial ecosystem for retrofits, providing clients access to impact capital that offers highly attractive pricing, linked to greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

“Greenhouse gas emissions from buildings make up a large proportion of Canada’s total emissions profile, and there is no route to net-zero without extensive energy efficiency retrofits to its building stock,” said Jonathan Hackett, BMO’s Head of Sustainable Finance and Co-Head, Energy Transition Group.

BMO will also provide long-term refinancing options that reflect the improved value of the building; guaranteed efficiency savings through delivery partners such as Siemens and Ameresco, and Investor Ready Energy Efficiency (IREE) certification through the Canada Green Building Council (CAGBC). 

“Every retrofit project is unique and we work in close collaboration with building owners to develop tailored solutions,” said Siemens Canada President and CEO, Faisal Kazi. “Siemens is proud to partner with BMO to offer decades of expertise in consulting and implementation, that when combined with customized business and delivery models, help move important sustainability projects forward quickly and cost effectively.”

“Investor Ready Energy Efficiency or IREE certification solves a key challenge for retrofits by ensuring all projects follow a common development framework and quality assurance process,” said Thomas Mueller, President and CEO, Canada Green Building Council. “By making IREE part of its retrofit platform, BMO is building confidence in retrofit investments, by enabling greenhouse gas and energy savings.”