Financial resources and business model
These can be divided into operating funds required to maintain the organization, and capital funds to implement specific programming agendas.
Operating funds will be secured by having a reliable revenue stream from for-fee services. The best available model for this is Sustainable Waterloo Region (SWR), as well as the communities where this model has been replicated with the assistance of Green Economy Canada (GEC, formerly Sustainability CoLab). By building a solid book of business through energy efficiency and sustainability consulting, these organizations have achieved fiscal stability (or are on track to do so).
It is proposed to move as soon as possible to either extend the scope of SWR to include Guelph, to launch a GEC plant, or some combination of the two. If this relationship with SWR were to include access to the Regional Sustainability Initiative, it would serve to reinforce the relationship between Our Energy Guelph (OEG) and the local business community (see Business relationships, below).
Green Municipal Bonds:
A promising source of investment capital
In the fall of 2014, the Eglinton Light Rail Transit project in Toronto sought financing from the investor community. The chosen instrument was the Green Municipal Bond. The issue was a great success, raising all of the required capital of $500 million. In fact, the issue was five times oversubscribed. This demonstrates that there is a great deal of unmet demand for this kind of financial instrument. This portends well for OEG as it moves toward implementing specific capital projects.
Until this model is in place, operating funds for OEG will depend on such sources as the City of Guelph, other orders of government, investments from local businesses, and contributions from charitable foundations.
Capital funds can be obtained through a variety of potential channels:
- There are plenty of options and there is plenty of capital available to finance the sorts of projects that OEG is likely to envisage. While the City of Guelph capital budget is an option, it is anticipated that it will be a last resort, and that the other financing methods listed above will be more attractive and sustainable.
- Other orders of government (e.g. the Ontario Climate Challenge Fund, which reinvests the proceeds of the Ontario Cap and Trade system)
- Institutional investors such as OMERS and OTPP, possibly via green municipal bonds (see sidebar)
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