Efficiency Capital’s comprehensive efficiency retrofit project at multiple WoodGreen Community Housing buildings is the first project in Canada to achieve the Investor Ready Energy Efficiency (IREE) certification, awarded by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI Canada).
Efficiency Capital worked with WoodGreen—a social housing provider, lead engineer Finn Projects, and contractor Baldwin & McCaul, to address a backlog of deferred maintenance and asset renewals. Their efforts resulted in improvements to occupant safety and comfort while ensuring Woodgreen’s financial health.
“GBCI Canada and Canada Green Building Council congratulate Efficiency Capital on achieving Canada’s first Investor Ready Energy Efficiency (IREE) certification. Through a certification like IREE, projects can more easily unlock the financing needed to accelerate the implementation of high-quality retrofits,” said Thomas Mueller, President and CEO of GBCI Canada and CaGBC. “This project shows that energy-efficient retrofits in residential buildings, including non-profit housing, can play a key role in helping Canada achieve its climate mitigation goals.”
IREE certification is based on the Investor Confidence Project (ICP) framework, which gives funders the confidence that retrofit projects have undergone a standardized method of analysis that is certified by an independent third-party. Developers like Efficiency Capital support building owners by developing, investing in, and managing building infrastructure renewals to maximize energy and water savings over time.
“We follow a very high project development and verification standard in order to satisfy our funders,” said Matt Zipchen, President of Efficiency Capital. “New sources of capital must enter the sector if we are to achieve our climate goal. With IREE certification, we’re providing a standardized mechanism for more mainstream investors to come to the table. Such certification tools are critical for reducing both the risk and the due diligence required for pooling and funding efficiency retrofits at scale.”
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. Efficiency Capital’s unique investment and funding strategy helped WoodGreen leverage $1.3 million in reserve funds into a $3.4 million retrofit project projected to achieve 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.