The GEERS program is an exciting and ambitious endeavor that I am in support of if implemented correctly. To protect the universal benefit to all in Guelph however, Council needs to ensure the administrative burdens of the program are in line with realistic revenue projections. In short, it must be revenue neutral or revenue positive for the city.

Construction worker installing solar panel on roof

My reason for this position is fairly straight forward. If we build a program that requires annual support from property taxes, we risk creating a scenario where those who can afford the retrofit loan get to 1) upgrade their homes, and 2) reduce their energy costs, while those who cannot afford the loan are forced to help pay the administrative costs of those upgrades through their taxes. I believe the original model (as presented to council) would create this scenario (i.e. the program would require annual support from tax revenues).

I have very clearly identified these concerns to staff and trust any business case that returns to council for approval will be more universally beneficial in the future.