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Climate Change Programs and Tools

Energy Efficiency Programs

As part of Budget 2017, the Provincial Government announced $9 million in funding over three years for two new home-energy-efficiency programs: The Home Energy Savings Program (HESP) and the Energy Efficiency Loan Program (EELP).

Together, these programs will provide financial assistance to homeowners who rely on electric heat looking to reduce their energy costs by improving the energy efficiency and comfort of their homes. They will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our province.

Home Energy Savings Program (HESP)

The Home Energy Savings Program (HESP) is a provincial initiative designed to assist low-income households heating their home with electricity. HESP will be delivered over three years by the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation (NLHC). This program will provide non-repayable grants of up to $5,000 to assist eligible households in making cost-effective energy efficiency upgrades to their homes, including insulation and air sealing.

For HESP, eligible applicants are defined as those who own existing homes, have an annual household income of less than $32,500, and consume 15,000 kWh or more of electricity annually. Prior to receiving the grant, the applicant’s home must undergo a home energy assessment by an NLHC auditor to identify the most cost-effective energy efficiency upgrades that will deliver the greatest energy savings for the homeowner.

Applications and further program details will be available starting July 4, 2017. For more information on the HESP, contact NLHC at (709) 724-3000.

Energy Efficiency Loan Program (EELP)

The Energy Efficiency Loan Program (EELP) was initially announced as part of the Provincial Government’s Budget 2017. Budget 2017 provided $1 million in 2017-18 for the program, rising to $1.5 million in each of 2018-19 and 2019-20. EELP began accepting applications on October 31, 2017.

EELP is a low-interest financing program designed to increase the affordability of energy efficiency measures for households reliant on electricity for space heating.

Through EELP, eligible applicants can receive low-interest financing of Prime plus 1.5 per cent interest to conduct energy efficiency upgrades, specifically to purchase and install heat pumps and basement and attic insulation, and to have a home energy assessment conducted by a qualified professional.

EELP is fully funded by the Provincial Government. It will be delivered over a period of two and a half years in partnership with takeCHARGE – an energy efficiency initiative of Newfoundland Power and Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro.

Frequently Asked Questions about the EELP

What assistance is available through the program?

Under EELP, approved applicants can receive low-interest financing of:

  • Up to $10,000 over a maximum of five years towards the purchase and installation of heat pumps and basement and attic insulation; and
  • Up to $750 over a maximum of three years to have a home energy assessment completed by a qualified assessor.

Approved applicants will repay the loans through monthly payments on their electricity bill.

What is the interest rate for the program?

The interest rate for EELP will be Prime plus 1.5 per cent. The actual interest rate for future loans may be subject to change depending on the Prime rate, which is determined on a quarterly basis.

Who is eligible for assistance?

Eligible applicants are defined as those who own existing homes that use electricity as their primary heating source and whose home has one year of history with the utility. As with any financing program, a credit check is required prior to approval.

Commercial or industrial customers are not eligible for EELP.

Are there income restrictions for this program?

No, there are no income restrictions for the Energy Efficiency Loan Program.

Why is this program targeted exclusively at electrically heated homes?

The primary objective of EELP is to assist in mitigating the impact on households of the projected rise in electricity rates over the next few years. Those homes heated primarily with electricity are anticipated to be more impacted than those that are heated using other fuel sources such as oil or wood. This is because, on average, about two-thirds of energy use in homes is for space heating.

How much money is government contributing for this program?

The Provincial Government is contributing $1 million in 2017-18 for the program. This will rise to $1.5 million in 2018-19 and 2019-20.

Is there a cap on EELP participation?

Yes, applicants will be served on a “first-come, first-served” basis until the budget cap is reached in a given year.

If the budget cap is reached, customers can apply in the next program year. Alternatively, they can also choose to avail of regular utility financing offered by both Newfoundland Power and Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro at the regular interest rate of Prime plus 4 per cent. Details on this financing can be found at www.takechargenl.ca external link icon

Why are loans offered as opposed to rebates or grants?

Low interest financing tackles a key barrier that often prevents homeowners from making energy efficiency improvements, namely, high upfront costs and access to capital. The program allows homeowners to make monthly payments on their electricity bills, so upgrades can be paid for over time while achieving energy savings.

EELP complements the energy efficiency grant programs already being provided by takeCHARGE, including grants for insulation and programmable thermostats. It is also in addition to the Home Energy Savings Program delivered by the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation, which provides energy efficiency grants to low income households with household incomes of less than $32,500 a year.

How can I apply for EELP?

If you are a customer of Newfoundland Power, you can submit an application for the EELP at: http://www.newfoundlandpower.com/customerrelations/financingprogram/default.aspx external link icon

If you are a customer of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, you can complete an application by speaking to a representative at: 1-888-737-1296.

How can I find more information on EELP?

More information on the program can be found at: https://takechargenl.ca/resources/tips-products/residential/energy-efficiency-loan-program/ external link icon

Interested consumers can also contact their electrical utility by phoning:

Newfoundland Power Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro
1-800-663-2802 1-888-737-1296

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Atlantic Climate Adaptation Solutions Association - Regional Adaptation Collaborative

Atlantic Canada is vulnerable to climate change. Warmer temperatures, rising seas, more precipitation, and more frequent and intense storms will present many challenges for Newfoundland and Labrador communities. Tools and resources are needed to help communities make decisions that minimize their risk to climate change.

In 2009, the Atlantic Provinces and the Government of Canada partnered to deliver the Regional Adaptation Collaborative (RAC) Program. This program, administered through the Atlantic Climate Adaptation Solutions Association (ACASA), worked to develop tools and resources that help decision makers address issues like coastal erosion, coastal and inland flooding, infrastructure design, and groundwater management.

The RAC program has received continued funding support from Natural Resources Canada and the Atlantic provinces to build on adaptation capacity until 2016.

For more information on the Regional Adaptation Collaborative Program, go to https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/environment/impacts-adaptation/regional-initiatives/10631 opens new window.

For resources on climate change adaptation and to view reports from the RAC Program in Atlantic Canada, go to www.atlanticadaptation.ca opens new window.

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Flood Risk Mapping Studies

Flood Risk mapping in Newfoundland and Labrador delineates the floodway as zones where floods have a return period of 20 years (5% chance in any year) and the flood fringe where the risk of flooding is once in 100 years (1% chance in any year). Flood risk areas have been mapped for 38 communities in the Province. These maps are used for public information, municipal planning, development control, and the setting of structural design criteria. All proposed developments in flood risk zones are evaluated against potential impacts on water resources, the structures themselves, and the surrounding areas.

To help support climate change adaptation, these flood risk mapping studies are being updated and new ones undertaken using climate change projections. This initiative is important for public safety and information, municipal and development planning, setting of structural design criteria, and flood response. This mapping will assist in regulating new developments in flood-prone areas, help minimize flood damage to properties and the environment, and restrict activities that could degrade water resources. A brochure is available outlining Government's New Template for Climate Change Flood Risk Mapping PDF (331 KB).

For more information about Flood Risk Mapping: http://www.ecc.gov.nl.ca/waterres/flooding/frm.html

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Hurricane Season Flood Alert System (HSFAS)

Floods, public safety and climate change are integrally linked. Due to climate change, the frequency and intensity of extreme precipitation events such as hurricanes that result in flooding is expected to increase. Climate change altered precipitation patterns will result in new communities experiencing regular floods and communities with existing flooding issues experiencing more intense and extensive flooding incidents.

The Hurricane Season Flood Alert System (HSFAS) is based on forecasted precipitation amounts and seeks to provide communities with flood warning services as a key climate change adaptation and public safety tool.

Alerts are provided to communities that have Flood Risk Mapping Studies (FRMS) or have published intensity-duration-frequency (IDF) curves from which precipitation based flood triggers can be derived. The HSFAS is to help communities in the province prepare for storms and avoid future high-cost expenditures in repairs and damages.

The HSFAS is operational during the peak hurricane months of June to December.

For more information about HSFAS: http://www.ecc.gov.nl.ca/waterres/flooding/hurricane.html

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Municipal Tools

Communities in Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as those across Atlantic Canada, are vulnerable to climate change and need to prepare for projected impacts. An important first step for communities is to assess how, where, and to what extent they are vulnerable to these impacts.

With funding from the Natural Resources Canada Regional Adaptation Collaborative Program, the Department of Environment and Climate Change, in partnership with Memorial University of Newfoundland and Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador, developed a step-by-step guide to help communities assess their vulnerability to climate change.

This climate change vulnerability assessment tool, 7 Steps to Assess Climate Change Vulnerability in Your Community was adapted from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and was piloted in six Newfoundland and Labrador communities. The tool is designed for communities with limited resources and does not require any technical expertise to use. This tool can serve as a guide for community leaders and decision makers, providing a means for a quick analysis of local climate change impacts and possible adaptation options.

Municipalities NL and the Professional Municipal Administrators, with funding assistance from the Department of Environment and Climate Change, developed a municipal infrastructure training tool. The tool, Managing Municipal Infrastructure in a Changing Climate, is used as a training tool to help municipal staff manage and prepare for the impacts of climate change.

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