A Quebec-based energy efficiency program is expanding access across Canada, opening up $185 million in capital for low-carbon commercial, industrial and multiresidential building retrofits.
SOFIAC (Société de financement et d’accompagnement en performance énergétique) announced it will allow owners of buildings with portfolio-wide overall annual energy expenditures over $500,000 to access funding for energy efficiency programs.
A previous large-scale energy retrofit project in Quebec showed SOFIAC’s targets for energy cost reduction are 25 to 40 per cent per project, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 to 50 per cent.
It does not require the applicant to make an initial investment, which SOFIAC says frees up liquid assets for building owners and enables access to subsidy programs and tax benefits, according to a press release.
SOFIAC was launched in January 2021 by energy consultancy Econoler and investment fund Fondaction, with the support of the Québec Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. It started with almost $200 million raised from the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB), Fiera Private Debt and Fondaction.
It previously only operated in Quebec, but is now open to the rest of Canada.
SOFIAC’s recent retrofit decarbonization clients include ADM Aéroports de Montréal for its YUL Montréal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport and YMX International Aerocity of Mirabel sites.
The nationwide expansion comes as a consortium headed by Desjardins Global Asset Management, comprising the Desjardins Group Pension Plan, Desjardins Financial Security and DGAM Global Private Infrastructure Fund II L.P., joins SOFIAC’s investors and provides $185 million in capital for decarbonization efforts.
Alongside its expansion, SOFIAC is adding two executives in Ontario and Western Canada. Stuart Galloway was named as the executive vice president and Ivan Gerginov as director of operations.
“SOFIAC has a service offer that is crucial to the market if it is to tangibly take part in the energy transition and make Canada a leader in this field,” Galloway said. “We now have a powerful aggregation tool to achieve ambitious energy efficiency targets and actively contribute to the fight against climate change.”