Environment & Energy

Toronto Atmospheric Fund (banner)

Worldwide, damage due to climate change, storm damage and flooding has totalled more than 6 trillion since 1980, with weather-related insurance claims increasing on average by 11% per year. Meanwhile, thanks to a changing climate, it is predicted that Toronto will have hotter, drier summers - with many more days of extreme heat - along with wetter, stormier winters.

The City of Toronto established Toronto Atmospheric Fund in 1991 to focus on reducing local greenhouse gas and air pollution emissions. Working with a $23 million endowment from the sale of the long-closed Langstaff Jail Farm, TAF operates as an arms-length agency at no cost to the City. TAF helps the City achieve the targets set out in the Council-approved climate plan and supports energy cost savings through energy efficiency. TAF-supported projects such as a streetlighting retrofit, traffic light LED conversion, and building retrofits have generated $55 million in savings for the city to date.

TAF deploys three programs - Incubating Climate Solutions, Mobilizing Financial Capital, and Mobilizing Social Capital - to address Toronto's major emissions sources: buildings and transportation. Based on a careful study of Toronto's emissions profile, TAF has a strong interest in energy efficiency retrofits in buildings, electric vehicles for fleets, efficient transportation of goods, natural gas alternatives like geothermal, and social innovation to support emission reduction strategies.Scotiabank ecoliving AWARDS finalist

TAF was nominated for the 2013 Scotiabank EcoLiving Innovator's Award. The nomination recognized the Energy Savings Performance Agreement as a game-changer in the energy efficiency retrofit market.

View Social Innovation Generation’s profile of TAF (PDF).

TAF Highlights

What's new

Natural Gas Conservation

The Ontario Energy Board is developing a new framework under which natural gas utilities can increase their conservation efforts. The framework will be available for public review and comment in August and September. We’ve posted information and research papers about this topic and how you can weigh in on the business case for conservation on our TowerWise site. Look for an update on the consultation process in the next issue of The Atmospheric.

City plan will show how to cut energy waste

Toronto has drafted a five-year energy conservation plan for its facilities. Adopted by City Council last month, the plan recommends that $142 million be invested in energy efficiency improvements over the next 10 years. Once completed, these improvements are expected to lower the city’s annual energy costs by $17 million and GHG emissions by 32,000 tonnes.

Toronto’s Green Taxis

Toronto City Council adopted a bylaw last month that sets high environmental standards applicable to all new taxi cabs in the city. New taxis must be either electric, hybrid, run on biodiesel, or have a fuel efficiency better than seven litres of gas per 100 kilometres. TAF advised the City on the development of the green taxi standards, which support the City’s Climate Change, Clean Air and Sustainable Energy Action Plan. Once the new standards are fully phased in, GHG emissions will be reduced by approximately 22,000 tonnes annually and the taxi industry will save $12 million yearly in fuel costs.