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Answers to some frequently asked questions about the Building Energy Retrofit Accelerator (BERA) program, an energy efficiency rebate program for commercial and institutional buildings.

If you have outstanding questions that are not addressed in the list below, please email buildingretrofit@edmonton.ca or phone 587-997-4271.

Participant Eligibility

Am I eligible to participate in the rebate program?

Edmonton’s Building Energy Retrofit Accelerator is available to large commercial, light industrial and institutional buildings located within Edmonton. Common spaces in multi-family buildings, such as apartments and condominiums, are also eligible. 

Detailed eligibility criteria can be found in the Program Manual and includes:

  • Buildings must be over 10,000 square feet in gross floor area
  • An existing building that has been operational for at least 1 year
  • A that building falls within an eligible City of Edmonton zoning bylaw category
  • The building is registered for Edmonton’s Building Energy Benchmarking Program

Tenants may participate if their building meets the above noted requirements.

All program requirements are outlined within the Program Manual, and detailed eligibility can be found within the Program Terms and Conditions.

I am currently building or planning on building a new building. Do I qualify for the rebate program?

No. Only existing buildings that have been operational for at least 1 year are eligible for the program. New buildings are not eligible.

I do not own my building, but am interested. Can I still participate in the program?

Yes, as long as the building that you occupy is registered for the Building Energy Benchmarking program, tenants are eligible to participate. If the building is not registered for the Building Energy Benchmarking program, you can register on behalf of the landlord but you will need building owner consent. If the building is not registered, and the landlord is not willing to register, then a tenant cannot participate. Email energystar@edmonton.ca if you would like help discussing the program with your landlord.

My building is not eligible for the rebate program. Are there other programs available to me?

Yes, the City of Edmonton has a number of different grants and incentive programs. For more details on how building and business owners in Edmonton can save money and greenhouse gas emissions, see the Change Buildings for Climate programs. Also, several other programs providing rebates for commercial, institutional and not-for-profit building upgrades can be found under the Grants and Incentives section of the program page.

I’m a contractor/supplier, how can I participate?

The best way for a contractor or supplier to participate is to provide information to your customers about the program to encourage them to purchase eligible equipment. If desired, you may apply for the rebates on behalf of your customer, however they must provide their consent and rebates must be issued to the customer. Check out resources for you to provide to your customer on the program page.

Application Process

Where do I find the application form?

The application form is online. You will need to create a username and password to access the portal, and once activated you can use this portal to manage all of your new and existing applications. The same application form is used for pre-approval and post-installation.

What documentation is needed to submit an application?

Please refer to the Program Checklist for the full details and requirements for submitting a completed application.

Can someone else submit an application on my behalf?

Yes, a contractor, distributor, or other third party may apply on a participants’ behalf. However, the participant is required to consent to the building upgrades and agree to the Program Terms and Conditions and the final cheque must be issued to the participant.

Do I need to participate in Edmonton’s Building Energy Benchmarking program?

Yes, registration in the Building Energy Benchmarking program is required to participate in the Building Energy Retrofit Accelerator. The program collects and compares annual, whole building energy consumption between buildings, information used to benchmark building energy performance and facilitate greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Benchmarking lays the foundation for significant improvements in building energy efficiency, and is a critical component of Edmonton’s Community Energy Transition Strategy.

How much time does it take to participate in Edmonton’s Building Energy Benchmarking Program? Is there any cost?

There is no cost to participate in the Building Energy Benchmarking program. After completing a brief registration form, participants must then submit their utility consumption information into ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. The data submission process usually takes 2 to 3 hours per building. Details are available in the Participation Guide and direct your questions to energystar@edmonton.ca.

Does pre-approval guarantee that funding will be available for me?

Yes, by receiving pre-approval, those funds are held specifically for that project for a period of nine (9) months. You will receive an email outlining the rebate amounts you are eligible for, as long as all Program Terms and Conditions are met.

What happens if my pre-approval expires?

When a pre-approval expires, the reserved funding is returned to the general pool for other participants. Your application is cancelled and a new application will need to be started in order to participate in the program. A pre-approval may be extended if a request is submitted to the City in writing and approved prior to the project’s expiration. An extension is granted at the sole discretion of the City, and if granted, will be done so in writing only.

Measure Eligibility

How do I know what products are eligible for rebates?

Please review the Building Energy Retrofit Accelerator’s Eligible Measures List which has the most up-to-date requirements for eligible measures.

What green building certifications are eligible for rebates?

Existing buildings that participate in green building certification systems that prioritize energy efficiency and emissions reductions, such as BOMA BEST, LEED EB:O+M and Zero Carbon Building, are eligible for rebates. A complete list is provided in the Eligible Measures List under certifications. If you have a certification system that you recommend be added, please reach out to the program staff using the contact information below.

Do I have to purchase a specific brand or can I purchase any brand of equipment?

The program is brand neutral. Any measure that meets the eligibility requirements listed within the Eligible Measures List qualifies for rebates. For added certainty, we recommend submitting a pre-approval application prior to purchase.

Is there a list of qualified contractors that I am required to use? Can I use my existing contractor or in-house maintenance team to complete my retrofit project?

The program does not have a qualified contractor list. Participants may use any contractor or in-house maintenance team to complete the retrofit project. If you are looking for a contractor, Energy Efficiency Alberta maintains a list of contractors in their Energy Professional (E Pro) Network, however the City does not require a contractor from that list, nor does the City endorse any contractors on that list.  All installed equipment must be installed by a certified professional and meet the appropriate building codes and permitting requirements.

Do I need to complete an energy assessment or energy audit to participate in the program?

No. An energy assessment, while valuable to identify energy savings opportunities, is not required for the Building Energy Retrofit Accelerator program. However, as a participant in the Building Energy Benchmarking Program you are eligible for the Energy Audit Rebate Program.

Is a site inspection required to complete my application?

Applicants are required to submit photos of their installation. Some projects may be selected for an on-site inspection at the discretion of the City. Please see the Program Terms and Conditions for details.

Rebate Amounts

How much rebate money will I get?

Rebates vary by measure type and size. Please refer to the Eligible Measure List to see the rebate amounts per measure. Rebates are determined in a prescriptive manner, meaning that the rebate amount is per unit (fixture, sensor, ton, hp) and the rebate is determined by the number of units installed. The unit may be an individual piece of equipment (for example, lighting fixture or sensor), or the size of an individual unit (ton of HVAC, hp of VFD). The units differ depending on the type of equipment. 

To determine the total rebate amount you are eligible for based on your building retrofit project, we recommend submitting a pre-approval application.

Can I receive a rebate on equipment from multiple measure categories?

Yes! In fact, if an applicant installs equipment from multiple measure categories they will be eligible for a bundling bonus. For projects with two separate measure categories, a 5% bonus on all rebates will be applied. For projects with three or more separate measure categories, a 10% bonus on all rebates will be applied. Category bonuses can be applied over and above project rebate caps, if applicable.

How do the bundling and certification bonuses work?

A certification bonus is an additional 5% rebate bonus applied to a participant's application if the building also achieves green building certification. For those who get pre-approval, all measures including building certification must be completed within the same 9 months application period.

Bundling bonuses are for applications with two or more measure categories, see the previous question for details.

What are the maximum rebate amounts I qualify for?

For projects that do not include installation of a heat pump, a rebate cap of $75,000 applies to the project. With bundling and certification bonuses applied, that could increase to as much as $86,625 per project.

For projects that include installation of a heat pump, a rebate cap of $125,000 applies to the project. With bundling and certification bonuses applied, that could increase to as much as $144,375 per project. 

No building owner can receive more than $150,000 in any given program year (applies across their portfolio of buildings). Please see the Program Terms and Conditions for details.

Timing and Deadlines

Is there a deadline for submitting my application?

Applications will be handled on a first come, first serve basis starting from when a fully completed application is submitted. Applications that are incomplete or do not provide the necessary information are deemed not to be in queue until any deficiencies are addressed.

Applications will be processed until the program budget is disbursed, or all remaining funds are allocated to pre-approved projects. If this occurs, a notification will be provided on the program website. We strongly recommend submitting pre-approval applications to ensure funds are held for anticipated projects.

Once pre-approved, how long do I have to complete the installation?

Pre-approval project rebate funds are reserved for nine (9) months. If a project is expected to take longer than this, we strongly encourage applicants to request an extension via email as early as possible to secure a longer reservation. Extensions will be confirmed via email at the sole discretion of the City.

If I did not get pre-approval, am I still eligible for a rebate?

Yes you are. Applicants who have purchased equipment after June 3 2020 can submit an application within 30 days of the date on the final invoice. Please note only eligible equipment will be rebated, and all other program eligibility needs to be met. Where possible we strongly recommend a pre-approval purchase.

Can I receive my rebate at the point of sale or time of purchase?

No. Rebate cheques will be provided to the participant after equipment has been purchased, installed and their completed application has been reviewed and approved.

How long will it take to receive my rebate cheque?

Once an application is submitted that is complete and includes all necessary documentation, it is expected that projects will be reviewed and approved within 2 weeks. Rebate cheques will be sent out at the end of each month.

Future Directions

How long will the rebate program be available for?

It is anticipated that the program will be available for multiple years, however the City of Edmonton cannot guarantee how long this program will be available for. As such, We recommend submitting pre-approval applications to ensure funds are held for anticipated projects.

How much funding does the program have?

The City of Edmonton operating budget is revisited annually, and the City cannot guarantee how much or how long funding will be available for. As such, We recommend submitting pre-approval applications to ensure funds are held for anticipated projects.

Does the program provide rebates for solar panels?

At this time, solar panels are not included as an eligible measure. The program details and Eligible Measures List will be revisited as needed, so this may change in the future.

Will the program expand to include more products in the future?

The City of Edmonton welcomes feedback on the program details and Eligible Measures LIst, and will be revisiting them as needed. It is possible that rebate amounts and eligible measures could change. Anyone is welcome to send their suggestions to the program contacts listed below.

For More Information

Telephone

1-844-604-4399 (toll free)

Email buildingretrofit@edmonton.ca

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