Toronto Atmospheric Fund
Worldwide, damage due to climate change, storm damage and flooding has totalled more than $1.6 trillion since 1980, with weather-related insurance claims increasing on average by 11% per year. Meanwhile, thanks to a changing climate, it is predicted that Toronto will have hotter, drier summers with many more days of extreme heat along with wetter, stormier winters.
The City of Toronto established Toronto Atmospheric Fund in 1991 to focus on reducing local greenhouse gas and air pollution emissions. Working with a $23 million endowment from the sale of the long-closed Langstaff Jail Farm, TAF operates as an arms-length agency at no cost to the City. TAF helps the City achieve the targets set out in the Council-approved climate plan and supports energy cost savings through energy efficiency. TAF-supported projects such as a streetlighting retrofit, traffic light LED conversion, and building retrofits have generated $55 million in savings for the city to date.
TAF deploys three programs Incubating Climate Solutions, Mobilizing Financial Capital, and Mobilizing Social Capital to address Toronto's major emissions sources: buildings and transportation. Based on a careful study of Toronto's emissions profile, TAF has a strong interest in energy efficiency retrofits in buildings, electric vehicles for fleets, efficient transportation of goods, natural gas alternatives like geothermal, and social innovation to support emission reduction strategies.
Retrofit at Old Shep Brings Great Energy Savings
A 1970s-era highrise residential condominium at 5 Old Sheppard Avenue has significantly reduced energy consumption after undertaking a retrofit supported by a TAF loan. The building updated their 30 year old heating and domestic hot water boilers as well as their make-up air units. As a result, the building is achieving a 27 percent savings in annual natural gas use - just slightly ahead of the 25 percent estimated by project engineers. To find out more about TAF's available financing for energy efficiency retrofits, please read about our innovative Energy Savings Performance Agreement (PDF).
U of T Benchmarks Energy Performance
A recent University of Toronto study has created an updatable energy consumption database for multi-unit residential buildings to better understand energy retrofit opportunities. The study showed (PDF) that the best energy-saving measures included improved boiler efficiency, reduced air leakage, and improved envelope thermal resistance through added insulation and window replacement. A key finding of the study was a surprising lack of correlation between building age and energy performance, and the broad range of energy consumption between the best and worst performers, underscoring a major energy efficiency opportunity among Toronto's building stock. The study also recommends changes to the City of Toronto's Official Plan to promote energy retrofits as part of regular building retrofits and maintenance.
Toronto Green Development Standard
The City of Toronto will soon be proposing a new version of the Toronto Green Development Standard (TGS). The original TGS included energy efficiency requirements that were the strictest in the continent, helping to make Toronto the epicentre of green building activity in North America. But now other codes and standards, including the Ontario Building Code, have caught up. In response, the Planning and Growth Management Committee will consider updating the standard on June 20, 2013. To prepare for the update, TAF and City Planning sponsored a research project (PDF) by Sustainable Buildings Canada. The report recommends raising mandatory energy efficiency requirements by 15% in 2013. This would reduce CO2e emissions by over 750,000 tonnes and create $100M in energy bill savings over the next 10 years. The incremental cost to developers was pegged at less than 1% of the market value of a typical building, and is projected to fall quickly as developers adapt to the requirements.
Stay in touch
2012 Annual Report and Financial Statements
See TAF's 2012 annual report (PDF).
You may need the free Adobe Acrobat Viewer to view PDF files.