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DIY Grants

Our DIY Grants allow for smaller projects to jump in without too many constraints.

Up to $5,000.

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Retrofit grants

Designed to reduce financial barriers for medium to large scale energy efficiency projects.

$5,000-30,000

 
 

"An energy efficient building can lower your heating bills 
by more than 50%. And every $1 million invested in energy efficiency generates $3-4 million in economic growth." 
- Pembina Institute and TAF

 

BASIC INFO

Our DIY Grants allow for smaller projects to jump in without too many constraints. These grants are available for any United Church congregation, camp or outreach ministry.

We are requiring congregations to submit their energy data so that we can better measure improvements in the church’s energy use nationally, and so that you can see the difference that your own efforts make. We are also requiring an energy audit of some kind to ensure that projects undertaken are the most efficient way to reduce emissions. The DIY walkthrough audit is available as a simple and no-cost option. Finally, 20% matching funds are required.

Our DIY Grants are designed to reduce financial barriers and help you make simple and effective changes to your building’s energy use.

Examples

     DIY Grants may cover the following things:

  • Upgrading to energy efficient light bulbs
  • Installing 7-day programmable thermostats
  • Replacing very old appliances with energy efficient versions
  • Carrying out air sealing projects
    (caulking, and weather stripping)
  • Adding minor insulation to the building
  • Replacing old or broken windows
  • Sealing up disused air vents into the building
  • Other projects specific to your building, or recommended
    through an energy audit

Requirements:

Step 1: Fill out an Expression of Interest Form (below), and we will send you the full application form.

Step 2: Do a DIY Audit (see our DIY Walkthrough Audit guide here), or schedule to have a Green Audit or Engineering Audit done (the cost of this can be included in the grant application, to be reimbursed if grant is approved and recommendations are acted on)

Step 3: Applying for funds, with a plan and budget, and 1 years’ worth of energy data. Application are excepted on a rolling basis.

Note: For DIY grants, 20% matching funds will be required. This means that in order to receive a $5,000 grant, you will need to demonstrate having found an additional $1,000 in matching funds. These can be grants or rebates from government or utilities, or can be in kind labour or donations.      

Step 4: You will hear from us within 4 weeks if you receive the funds. Then go ahead and make the planned changes!

Step 5: Submit your receipts, along with 4-8 high-resolution photos of your team working to make this happen, and a summary report so we can share your success with others. Once these are received we will send the funds as a reimbursement.

Step 6: One year after the work has been completed, submit that past year’s energy consumption data. Remaining $500 of funds and a benchmark report measuring the difference in your energy use will be sent upon receipt of that data.

Step 7: Stay in touch so we can continue to celebrate your good work with you!

 

“Once we decided to actually go for the project and pursue it with some dedication, things went very smoothly. We went from an idea, to a grant application the next day, to a fully funded project three months later."
- Justin Wheler, St. Paul's United, Edmonton
 

 

Basic Info

Our Retrofit Grants are designed to reduce financial barriers for medium to large scale energy efficiency projects. These grants are available for any United Church congregation, camp or outreach ministry.

We are requiring congregations to submit their energy data so that we can better measure improvements in the church’s energy use nationally, and so that you can see the difference that your own efforts make. We are also requiring an energy audit. This audit should match the scale of the project and reflect an understanding of the potential energy savings. Finally, 50% matching funds are required. 

For Retrofit Grants we are requiring energy data to be submitted one-year after the work is complete, to measure and celebrate improvements. A final instalment of funds and an energy benchmark report will be sent upon submission of this one-year-later energy consumption data.

These Retrofit grants aim to help make bold building efficiency projects within reach for congregations. Read inspirational stories of what other congregations have undertaken here.

    Examples

    Retrofit Grants may cover the following things:

    • Solar installation
    • Installation of a energy efficient heating and cooling system
    • Insulation of attic or walls in medium to larger building (where building systems allow)
    • Upgrading of windows
    • Major air sealing (caulking and weather stripping)
    • Replacement of several appliances within the building
    • Major renovations and additions
    • Other projects specific to your building, or recommended
      through an energy audit

    Requirements:

    Step 1: Fill out an Expression of Interest Form (below), and we will be in touch to talk about your ideas and send you the full application form.

    Step 2: Have a Green Audit or Engineering Audit done (the cost of this can be included in the grant application, to be reimbursed if grant is approved and recommendations are acted on)

    Step 3: Applying for funds, with a plan and budget, and 1 years’ worth of energy data. Application are excepted on a rolling basis.

    Note: For Retrofit grants, 50% matching funds will be required. This means that in order to receive a $30,000 grant, you will need to demonstrate having found an additional $15,000 in matching funds. These can be grants or rebates from government or utilities, or can be in kind labour, donations, or congregational endowment funds.      

    Step 4: You will hear from us within 4 weeks if you receive the funds. Then go ahead and make the planned changes!

    Step 5: Submit your receipts, along with 4-8 high-resolution photos of your team working to make this happen, and a summary report so we can share your success with others. Once these are received we will send the bulk of the funds as a reimbursement.

    Step 6: One year after the work has been completed, submit that past year’s energy consumption data. Remaining $1000 of funds and a benchmark report measuring the difference in your energy use will be sent upon receipt of that data.

    Step 7: Stay in touch so we can continue to celebrate your good work with you!

    Frequently asked questions

    1. Do we have to provide energy data to qualify for the grants?

    Yes. Energy data helps us measure where we’re at, and how we’re improving, The goal for this program is to reduce the carbon footprint of the United Church of Canada, and to know that we have reached this goal with your project, we need to analyze the energy data of the participating buildings.

    If you’re not sure how to gather your energy data, start by asking your administrator or whoever pays the bills where you could find the last year of energy bills. Some utilities will have all of that info in your online account. Your congregation may simply have a file of past paid-bills somewhere. On those bills you should find all of the info you need to fill out the energy chat within the application form.

    If you are still having trouble, contact us and we’ll help!

    2. Is energy data the only measure of success?

    We’re asking for energy data because it’s one important metric to measure change. But we know that this energy data isn’t the only measurement that matters.

    Many congregations have told us that these building upgrades have meant they have more rental groups and community groups using their space, resulting in their energy use looking the same, but supporting much more use. It extends their ‘mission per square foot’, and that’s something to celebrate.

    The application form will also ask some questions about your building usage, and after the work is done we’ll ask you to share some of your story with us, so that the rich impacts that can’t be captured in data can still be shared.

    3. How long do we have to complete the retrofits/renovations/planned actions?

    Ideally you should complete it within a year. If it is a larger plan, we can discuss a timeline that is reasonable for you. Please note that the grant money is released at the end of your planned upgrades.

    4. Can we get our money ahead of time, before the completion of the project?

    No. The funds will be distributed as a reimbursement in a timely manner, once receipts are submitted.

    5. Can we use the grant money to have an Audit carried out on our church?

    Yes. An audit is an important step in identifying the low hanging fruit, and the opportunities for focusing your efforts to maximize energy reduction. For DIY grants we require that you do a self-guided walk-through audit at the minimum, and for Upgrade grants we require a Green Audit, or an Energy Audit, or a full Ashrae Audit.

    We are happy to talk with you to figure out what kind of audit makes the most sense for you, and to coordinate having our team come and provide that audit, or help find someone near you.

    6. How long should the application process take?

    It should take approximately 4-6 weeks from when you start to the approval of your application. Application deadline cycles are listed on the Grants page

    7. Where do I go for help with the application?

    There are guides and resources on the website to help you fill out the application and collect your energy data. If you still have questions once you have gone through those, please reach out to us

    8. What is involved in the follow up report?

    In the follow-up report we are hoping to hear more of your congregation’s story, and the impact that these funds have had. Specifically we want to hear what you did with the money, how you feel it improved the reduction of your carbon footprint, how it benefits your congregation, and the value it brought to your community.

    We would also like some photos - not just of the building, but of the people who worked together to make this project happen. In some cases we will be able to share this story and the photos on our website, or work with you to create a video, to showcase your efforts locally and nationally.

    9. What is ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager?

    When we receive your utility data, we will enter it into a program called ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager is a free, online tool that Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has adapted from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, which we are using to help you measure and track your faith building's energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. With your newly established ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager account, you can monitor, rate and optimize your building's energy use - all in a secure online environment.