Some form of municipal financing that runs with the land has tremendous potential to accelerate energy conservation and green energy retrofits for existing buildings. The David Suzuki Foundation has published a detailed report on one such concept, Property Assessed Payments for Energy Retrofits and Other Financing Options (PAPER). PAPER would treat energy conservation and green energy improvements to private property in defined areas as a form of infrastructure, to be paid for over time by special charges added to the property tax bill. The Foundation bases the concept on the widely used Local Improvement Charges mechanism under the Ontario Municipal Act 2001, and calls for regulatory changes to increase its appeal.
The Pembina Institute issued a similar report in 2005, recommending that governments across Canada should quickly remove the legal obstacles to such a powerful tool. Most didn’t do it. Yet.
Perhaps this qualifies as a red-tape obstacle to a green economy.