Michael Wolfe, President of Property Management, FirstService Residential
The Climate Mobilization Act was designed to reduce buildings’ carbon emissions, and we’re trying to reduce them to a very great extent over what I consider to be a very short period of time. This law is unlike any other local law because boards will now have to actually change systems, types of energy use and behavior by residents – all at a tremendous cost. And this cost can be covered through refinancing, grants, loans, assessments. There are a lot of different ways to raise the funds to address the needs of a particular building.
But we need to stay ahead of this. We manage dozens of buildings that will pay fines beginning in 2024 if they don’t make changes, and even more buildings will face fines in 2030. The work that needs to be done in most buildings to avoid penalties or get a small penalty requires a very big plan, and that takes time and a lot of money. It may make sense for some buildings to pay the fine for a year or two, but not in perpetuity because it only gets worse. So you need a detailed, comprehensive plan – let’s call it a roadmap.
Although 2030 is nine years away, the planning should begin now. You don’t have to do everything tomorrow, but you definitely need to take this seriously and develop a comprehensive plan that you can phase in, if possible. And let your residents know what’s going on. We do newsletters, we mention this at annual meetings and town hall meetings. Management companies should be working with their boards to slowly roll out a plan.