LC3 Case studies
The building stock accounts for 40-60% of greenhouse gas emissions in Edmonton and Calgary. In order to achieve meaningful emissions reductions and address our current climate crisis, we need to address energy use in our building sector and perform deep energy retrofits of our current building stock, quickly bring retrofit activity to scale.
During CIF’s stakeholder engagement process, participants highlighted the fact that to accelerate this change, we need to improve the value case for energy efficiency and demand response technologies, as well as improve data collection and access to private financing. This pilot project will use cutting edge data extrapolation and visualization approaches provided by a data innovation company called Audette. Fifty-three buildings are participating in this first iteration of the Alberta Ecotrust program.
Enabling identification and aggregation of commercial building retrofits
Commercial building owners need to understand technically and financially how to decarbonize their building stock, which is usually done on a per-building cases through site specific energy audits. The problem with conventional energy auditing is that it is slow and expensive. And given the high transactional costs, single building retrofits are not financeable by the many capital providers due to the project size.
There is a clear role for a faster, nimble, retrofit identification and analysis process to accelerate emissions reductions while aggregating potential opportunities. This initiative will respond by supporting an approach to rapid digital auditing of 53 buildings in Calgary and Edmonton faster, cheaper and more comprehensively using machine learning and artificial intelligence. Once identified, opportunities with a project value of at least $1 million and up to $25 million will be aggregated and promoted to investors interested in advancing low carbon solutions in Alberta building stock.
Supporting climate solutions and mobilizing capital
True to the LC3 partnership approach, this project is co-funded by the Climate Innovation Fund ($50,000), RBC Foundation – Tech for Nature ($50,000) and leverages an additional $20,625 in funding from private building owners.
Receiving audit information is one step on the way to realizing emissions reduction but it is not the ultimate outcome. To drive tangible results, there needs to be a clear pathway from knowing to doing. Using the project origination results obtained during the rapid digital audit process, Alberta Ecotrust is connecting commercial building owners to low cost, low carbon financing through SOFIAC Canada. SOFIAC is a turnkey, concierge retrofit management company that brings capital to the deal. Through its innovative partnership with the Canada Infrastructure Bank, SOFIAC can provide off balance sheet, pay as you save financing for retrofits in the commercial building sector.
The Climate innovation Fund is therefore enabling and crowding this funding into the local market in Calgary and Edmonton, which are crucial to accelerate emissions reductions.
This project will generate new data that will be rapidly collected and presented to identify large scale energy efficiency improvements and aggregate those opportunities to catalyze investment. The project therefore speaks to LC3’s catalytic role and its ambition to accelerate the pace of the transformation needed to reduce GHG emissions.