What you need to know about Edmonton’s Building Energy Retrofit Accelerator Program

What is the BERA Program?

Did you know that 39% of Edmonton’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 42% of our city’s energy consumption is from all buildings (residential and large buildings)? The large commercial, institutional, and industrial buildings in the city use 23% of energy and produce 19% of GHG emissions.

The City of Edmonton developed a Building Energy Benchmarking Pilot program in order to reduce our GHG emissions and lessen the effects of climate change. The goal is to help large building owners and operators reduce their building energy use and reduce community GHG emissions in Edmonton.

BERA Edmonton

The Building Energy Retrofit Accelerator program (BERA) is a rebate program that provides financial incentives for energy efficiency upgrades to commercial and institutional buildings. It aims to address the emissions resulting from the operations of commercial, light industrial, and institutional buildings by reducing the energy intensity of eligible buildings.

The BERA Edmonton program offers financial rebates on the purchase and installation of select energy-efficient equipment. Retrofits that are eligible for rebates include building lighting fixtures/controls, HVAC equipment, hot water equipment, building controls, building envelope, solar and green building certifications.

Who is Eligible for the BERA 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 and eligibility can be found in the Program Manual and Program Terms and Conditions and they include:

  • Buildings must be over 1,000 square feet in gross floor area
  • An existing building that has been operational for at least 1 year
  • The building’s annual electricity consumption is less than 15 GWH
  • The building has participated in Edmonton’s Building Energy Benchmarking Program
BERA Program

What Rebates are Available?

Rebate amounts are specific to the building energy retrofit project completed by the participant. The Eligible Measures List includes all equipment that qualifies for rebates, as well as the rebate amounts and measure-specific eligibility criteria.

Eligible Measures are divided into seven categories:

  1. Lighting fixtures (interior, exterior)
  2. Controls (lighting, non-lighting)
  3. HVAC (including hot water)
  4. Building envelope
  5. Hot water
  6. Solar
  7. Building certification

The following rebate caps apply to all program participants:

  • Measure level maximum rebate: The rebate amount cannot exceed 50% of the annual costs of equipment and installation
  • Maximum Rebate for Solar PV Installation: $80,000
  • Minimum Rebate per application: $1,000
  • Maximum Rebate per project per program year: $75,000 or $125,000 if a heat pump or solar PV is installed
  • Maximum Rebate per company per program year (at multiple locations): $150,000

Solar Rebates

  • Solar PV: $200-$290 per kW
  • Battery energy storage: $250 per kWh
  • Building certification: 50% of the application fee +5% bonus on measure rebate
    • Applicable to the following certifications:
      • EnerPHit
      • LEED Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (EBOM)
      • LEED Interior Design and Construction (ID+C)
      • BOMA BEST
      • Net Zero

Bundling and Bonuses

To encourage energy retrofits, participants who install measures from more than one equipment category will receive an additional 5% bonus rebate for each category they install. (Up to a maximum bonus of 10%).

To encourage participation in third-party green building certification programs, participants are eligible for a 50% rebate for certification costs as well as an additional 5% bonus rebate on the entire project.

Bonuses are applied over and above the project rebate caps and maximums described above.


How to Participate?

Are you, or do you know of a business or building owner who can benefit from retrofitting the business/building with energy efficient upgrades? If you answered “yes”, then this rebate program is for you.

There are two application streams available to participate in the BERA program: Pre-Approval and Post-Approval. BERA applicants can pick the application stream that complements their project stage and use the Program Checklist to finalize the document submission.

For more details on how building and business owners in Edmonton can save money and emissions, see the Change Buildings for Climate programs and the other grants and incentives the city has to offer.

If you have any additional questions, or are looking for more information about how Gridworks can be involved in your energy efficient upgrades, send us a message or give us a call at (587) 405-9090.


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