Provincial Cash For "Less Energetic" Colleges

The Saint Scene

Contributed by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development

Ontario is reducing greenhouse gas pollution and supporting student achievement by investing in energy improvements at college and university campuses across the province.

This investment is part of Ontario's Climate Change Action Plan, and is funded by proceeds from the province's cap on pollution and carbon market.

Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, and Chris Ballard, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, recently announced funding for publicly-assisted colleges and universities to improve the energy efficiency of their campuses, including funding for:

• Installing energy-efficient windows and high-efficiency boiler replacements;

• Larger retrofits, upgrades and new construction for projects that achieve significant emissions reductions and/or demonstrate innovative approaches to increase campus sustainability and reduce greenhouse gas pollution; and

• Projects that reduce energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and operating costs through interest-free loans.

Ontario's carbon market proceeds are required by law to be invested in programs that help households, businesses and public institutions reduce greenhouse gas pollution.

Supporting Ontario's colleges and universities to improve their energy efficiency and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change.

"Ontario’s colleges and universities are some of the best places in the world to study,” said Hunter. “By investing in repairs and retrofits on campuses across the province that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy efficiency, we can extend the life of valuable infrastructure, and provide students with the best possible learning environment to pursue their goals and achieve their potential."

Ballard added, "This investment is another example of how our Climate Change Action Plan and carbon market work together to help cut our greenhouse gas pollution while making life better for Ontario residents. This program gives our colleges and universities an opportunity to modernize their campuses, increase the comfort of their students and inspire future generations to help build our low-carbon economy."

In 2017-18, Ontario is investing over $214 million in grants and making available up to $300 million in interest-free loans to retrofit college and university facilities through the Greenhouse Gas Campus Retrofit Program.

In November 2017, Ontario issued a call for proposals from publicly-assisted colleges and universities for innovative approaches to increase campus sustainability.

The Climate Change Action Plan and carbon market form the backbone of Ontario's strategy to cut greenhouse gas pollution by 80 percent by 2050, while investing in programs that help Ontario families and businesses save money and lower greenhouse gas emissions.