City of Kingston celebrates one year of Better Homes Kingston success

June 22, 2023

The City of Kingston released the first annual report for the Better Homes Kingston program, showcasing the remarkable achievements and positive impact the City says the initiative has made on the community. The program, which aims to improve energy efficiency and build climate resiliency, has exceeded expectations with 678 applications within its first year. 

“The early success of the Better Homes Kingston program demonstrates the deep commitment of our community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build climate resiliency,” says Julie Salter-Keane, Manager of the City’s Climate Leadership Division.

“We’re thrilled to see such interest in the program in its first year and we look forward exploring the future of this program in the coming months.” 

Other highlights from the annual report, released in a Council Report on June 20, include: 

  • A total of 678 households applied to the program, surpassing the initial target of 500. 126 homeowners remain on the waitlist.  
  • 66 projects have been completed to date, leading to a 4,710-tonne reduction of GHGs over the project lifetimes.  
  • Over $12 million of loan funding is currently allocated to projects. 
  • Participating homeowners indicated high customer satisfaction scores when surveyed. 
  • The program facilitated upgrades in various areas, including insulation, heating and cooling systems, windows and renewable energy installations. 

“An energy-efficient home is healthier to live in, more resilient and reduces money spent on energy and energy used. Through this program, we’re pleased that many of our community members are already experiencing these incredible benefits while reducing our collective GHG emissions,” adds Salter-Keane. 

Better Homes Kingston is a local improvement charge financing program that encourages homeowners to undertake deep-energy retrofits. With assistance from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund, participating homeowners can qualify for up to $40,000 in zero-interest loans to complete retrofits that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Council’s 2023-2026 Strategic Plan includes a commitment to evaluate and report on the potential to extend the Better Homes Kingston program beyond the initial four years. Staff will report to the Environment, Infrastructure & Transportation Policies Committee in Q4 2023 on the long-term viability of the program.