Impact Report

2022-2023

We believe that by acting today, we can leave our children a community
that is more resilient, vibrant, caring and sustainable.
Elanor Waslander, Board Chair
Mary Jane Patterson, Executive Director

Meaningful actions: it’s something we talk a lot about at Reep. Recognizing the global challenge of dramatically reducing carbon emissions, we have a goal of supporting 10,000 meaningful actions by 2030.  

What do we mean by that? A meaningful action is one that yields results or change: a tree planted, a rain garden installed, a home made more energy or water efficient. 

Supportive actions such as workshops or energy evaluations are also important, because they give people in the region, and beyond, the tools and knowledge they need to take meaningful action.  

We look back on this year with awe and appreciation for our community’s response to the climate crisis. So many residents come to us with genuine concern and a strong desire to be part of the solution.  

In particular we’ve seen a surge of participation in home energy upgrades. Homeowners smartly took advantage of federal and utility incentives to make homes more comfortable and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the same time.   

Adapting to our changing climate is also important, through increased tree canopy, native species and flood prevention. We saw strong sustained interest in healthy beautiful yards that perform all of those functions: rain gardens in Kitchener and Guelph, Bloom {in} Box pollinator plants throughout the Region (we’ve heard of some going as far as Chatham!), and backyard trees planted in Cambridge, Waterloo, Guelph and Kitchener.  Reep participants are digging in and painting our town green.  

We look forward to next year with a sense of gratitude and excitement for the changes ahead, as longtime board member and Reep co-founder Paul Parker retires, Elanor yields the board chair role to Michelle Watson, and Executive Director Mary Jane plans her retirement in December 2023. We’ve been preparing for these transitions for several years, and with a strong staff, volunteer and board team in place, we are ready for what lies ahead.  

Waterloo Region and the Grand River watershed are located on the traditional territory of Indigenous Peoples, including the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe and Neutral Peoples. We recognize the enduring presence of the Indigenous peoples we share this land with today, and their contributions to our community. Read our full territorial acknowledgement.

How Close Are We To Our 2030 Target?​

By 2030, people impacted by Reep Green Solutions have taken 10,000 meaningful actions to collectively shift our community to a resilient, low-carbon future.

Here is our total so far:
31.8%
Meaningful Actions (2020-2023)

Program Updates

All reported numbers are from the most recent fiscal year (April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023).

Meaningful Actions
Supportive Actions

In 2020, we set a target to empower 10,000 meaningful actions by the year 2030. We also committed to tracking our results to make sure we’re achieving that goal, and having an impact in the community.

This year, participants in our programs accomplished 1,130 meaningful actions. They installed heat pumps, planted native species, insulated basements and dug into rain gardens, making our community more sustainable with each action.

These actions contribute directly to meeting our community targets for adapting to climate change, and reducing greenhouse gases. 

Participants also took 5,112 supportive actions to learn how to live sustainably through personalized home consultations, webinars, and on-the-ground workshops.

Home Energy Efficiency

EnerGuide Evaluations

There’s never been a better time to upgrade the energy efficiency of our homes. The federal Greener Homes grant combined with Home Efficiency Rebate Plus program from Enbridge Gas makes it a perfect time to get an EnerGuide Evaluation. 

Last year, we visited 609 homes to provide initial evaluations and 259 homes for a follow-up evaluation after they followed our recommendations.

Heat pump being installed
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Invested in the Local Economy

Home energy upgrades are good for the local economy! Our participants made significant investments in their home retrofits last year, totaling $4,410,378.

These are dollars that stay in our community and create local jobs. Participants also received $801,409 in rebate incentives to help cover those costs.

Retrofits Installed

Out of the 382 energy efficiency upgrades we documented, the most common were attic insulation, windows and heating/cooling systems, including a number of heat pump installations.

These homes will save an estimated $185,000 annually on energy costs and reduce 410 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year. Congratulations homeowners!

Reflecting on Water Efficiency Efforts with WET Home Reviews

After working with the Region of Waterloo for five years on WET Home Reviews, Reep is no longer delivering this program. During that time, we’re proud to have helped residents in 1,964 homes save water. We not only provided advice on ways to conserve water; we also installed 1,498 measures on the spot that helped people to lower their water bills and save water immediately. It was a great experience for us and we’re thankful for the chance to be a part of this important program, which is still available through the Region of Waterloo.

Our partnership with the Region is still strong. With their help, our team of water advisors has become experts in working with property owners to check how much salt they use in winter. This check is an important first step in making a plan to protect the water we all need. We have also partnered with the City of Guelph to research and provide recommendations on saving water in multi-residential buildings.

Understanding Energy Poverty in the Waterloo Region
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Our Senior Energy Programs Manager, Lisa Truong, presenting at Clear Air Partnership's workshop about Applying an Equity Lens to Climate Actions in Toronto City Hall.

Embedding equity into the design was a goal from the very beginning of our explorations into an energy efficiency loan program for Waterloo Region. Last year we shared our learning on equity in municipal finance programs across the country. Over the course of 4 different workshops and conferences, 300 attendees heard our equity recommendations, including municipalities, utilities, energy partners, and non-profit organizations. 

Continuing this work, we developed a data dashboard to analyze and better understand energy poverty in Waterloo Region. We learned that 32,000 people in Waterloo Region pay more than twice the average Canadian for their energy bills, as a percentage of their income. Some demographics are more highly represented. For example, 26% of senior households experience energy poverty, compared with 19% among the general population.

Energy costs can be a real financial burden for some households in our community. At 70 years old, Joyce (Kitchener, ON) talks about the challenges: “I always pay my bills. I have learned to live frugally. However that has meant if I’m going to keep warm in my house, for instance, then I don’t have the cash to buy gas to go visit my grandchildren as often as I’d like.” Read the full blog here.

Reep continues to increase our understanding of energy poverty, and look for ways to develop local solutions. It is one small piece of the larger and urgent issue of affordable housing in our community. Read our “Considerations of Equity in an Efficiency Financing Program” report here to learn more.

Lisa's Decarbonization Journey
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%
Reduction in Energy Costs
Tonnes of GHG Emissions Reduced Annually
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Received in Rebate Incentives

Lisa originally had an energy evaluation with us back in 2015 at her home in Kitchener, Ontario. “I was curious about my house, so I had it evaluated,” she said. “When I sold the house, those evaluation documents came in handy.” 

Lisa moved to Cambridge and decided to have an energy evaluation in 2022 after the launch of the Canada Greener Homes Grant. Her main motivation for having an evaluation was to access the rebate program for window replacements. 

Although she was only initially considering replacing her windows, Lisa’s Registered Energy Advisor, Colin, planted the idea of upgrading her heating system with a heat pump. “The best part of his visit was at the end when he turned to me and said would you consider upgrading your furnace. At that time, we had an oil furnace. I hadn’t really thought of it and that led us down the road to looking at heat exchangers,” she said. 

“Colin did a great job on the evaluation. I was amazed that he managed to work around our two cats, and they didn’t escape! He was very thorough, and I learned a lot.” 

In the end, she decided on a cold climate air source heat pump, which turned out to be a great success! The heat pump was eligible for the maximum $5,600 rebate incentive through the Canada Greener Homes Grant. She also replaced four windows. 

Healthy Yards and Neighbourhoods

Property Consultations

When participants enroll in any of our Healthy Yards and Neighbourhoods programs, they receive an in-person consultation from our on-staff Arborist or Healthy Yards Advisor.

Each consultation provides our program participants with advice tailored to the needs of their property. Whether you plan to install a rain garden or plant a tree, our Healthy Yard Advisors will work with you to help you achieve your healthy yard goals.

Healthy Yards Features

Last year, we planted 231 trees chosen by homeowners through the Backyard Tree Planting program, and supported residents in installing 60 rain smart features such as rain gardens, infiltration galleries and other meaningful actions that make their yards healthier and more resilient.

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Outreach Event Participants

Our tree walks, workshops and community presentations presented plenty of opportunity for people to learn and then take action in their own back yard.

We saw lots of interest: 762 people attended 28 Healthy Yards outreach events this year. A big thanks to all who participated for showing your commitment to sustainable living.

Leah's Rain Smart Yard
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"It was fun to educate [others] about rain gardens and their positive impact."

Leah Bowman started working on her rain garden project two years ago after discovering Reep through social media and learning that she was part of a “Rain Smart Neighbourhood”. 

Becca, Reep’s Healthy Yards Advisor  and Manager of Stormwater and Healthy Landscapes Programs, helped Leah brainstorm ideas and construction techniques. In addition to her rain garden, Leah also built an infiltration trench between her house and her neighbour’s house. This feature directed runoff further from their houses and towards the strip of land between their driveways, where it can safely soak into the soil. 

Leah shares, “We’re planning to make the above-ground part of the infiltration trench very natural, with plenty of plants and flowers, like a pollinator garden.” While Leah collaborated with her neighbour on the infiltration trench, she took charge of the rain garden, with help from her kids. 

Looking back, Leah recalls, “A few neighbours would stop and ask what was happening. Sometimes I’d see them outside, chatting and pointing towards my yard. It was fun to educate them about rain gardens and their positive impact.” 

Community Engagement

Webinar Attendees

Building on the popularity of webinars during the pandemic years, we hosted 601 viewers in virtual events from across our different program areas.

Among the most popular were our Home Efficiency Rebate Plus live learning sessions, Guelph Rain Garden workshops and Healthy Yards webinar series.

Zero Waste Challengers

Our Zero Waste Challenge welcomed 158 people and 69 pets in reducing the amount of waste they generate.

The new 14-day challenge was a popular option, with 47 participants trying it out. Several events added learning opportunities, including an outdoor screening of Going Circular, a documentary about recycling.

Youth Cutting Carbon Workshops

We took a different approach this year in our Youth Cutting Carbon program..

25 participants attended 4 workshops focusing on how climate change makes us feel, ways we can take climate action, and the importance of talking about climate change with friends, family and others in our community.

Justin Trudeau Visits the Reep House for Sustainable Living

We were honoured to welcome Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the Reep House on a beautiful Friday morning in October 2022. 

The Reep team (and media) were stationed throughout the house and grounds, and the Prime Minister made stops along the way, asking questions and trying out our displays. His visit focused on the Canada Greener Homes Initiative, which helps people make their homes more energy-efficient in ways the Reep House demonstrates. Prime Minister Trudeau also got down in the soil and planted a native pollinator species in our Habitat Garden.

Afterwards we were delighted to have Prime Minister Trudeau stay for pizza, along with Members of Parliament Bardish Chagger, Bryan May, Tim Louis and Valerie Bradford.

From the RCMP advance team to the pre-visit inspection (featuring an excellent explosives sniffer dog) to relaxing over pizza and heat pumps with the Prime Minister, this was a visit to remember!

ClimateActionWR

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ClimateActionWR is a collaboration between local municipalities, organizations and community members focused on climate change. It is co-led by Reep Green Solutions and our colleagues at Sustainable Waterloo Region.

ClimateActionWR transitioned to implementing TransformWR last year, with a main focus on building a strong foundation, engaging more organizations, and accelerating a transition towards an equitable, prosperous, resilient, and low-carbon community.

The ClimateActionWR Sector Committees  created a visual guide for building owners to reduce emissions, organized home energy retrofit webinars, and conducted research on equity in active transportation and parking incentives for electric vehicles.

This year, ClimateActionWR made significant changes to how we engage with the community. We participated in 7 community events, like festivals, gatherings, and farmer’s markets, in the Waterloo Region. We had more than 250 conversations with community members about the TransformWR plan and ways people can take action on climate change.

Donors Drive Climate Action
"I love how Reep takes a grassroots approach, educating and taking action to make a real impact in our community.."

Mary Ann Vanden Elzen has known about Reep for as long as she can remember. It all began in the mid-90s when she had an energy audit done for her house, although it was through another organization connected to Reep. Since then, she has been a devoted supporter and donor, truly believing in our mission.

When it comes to working with Reep on projects alongside the Lakeside Neighborhood and the Friends of Lakeside Park, Mary Ann speaks highly of the experience. “Working with Reep has been really great. Together, we’ve accomplished some amazing things. In 2017-2018, Reep partnered with the Lakeside Neighborhood to pilot the Rain Smart Neighborhood program, resulting in 40 different installations of rain smart features…”

Mary Ann proudly emphasizes her appreciation for Reep’s work, stating, “What Reep does is super important. I love how you take a grassroots approach, educating and taking action to make a real impact in our community. I’ve been supporting Reep for around three to four years now, and it’s an organization I really believe in. If anyone is looking to start their sustainability journey, I would encourage them to check out Reep.”

Donating is a Meaningful Action
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Total Donations

Donations are an important way for people to create a positive impact. By donating to Reep Green Solutions, donors support programs that lead directly to meaningful actions that help fight climate change.

Donations are vital to the sustainability of Reep. We extend our deepest gratitude to the donors who decided to support us this year.

Financial Summary

The financial information in this section is derived from the financial statements for April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023 which were audited by Clarke Starke & Diegel LLP.  

Given our strong results in 2021 and the growing urgency for climate action, in 2022 we invested heavily in the future. We increased capacity to meet our community’s environmental goals—enhancing Reep’s energy programs and data management to support all of our programs. Concurrently, one of our contracts was not renewed, and a grant-funded project was completed, leading to less revenue than the prior year. As all hands come on deck to address our communities’ challenges, Reep is prepared and eager to play an increasing role.

Revenue
Item 2022 to 2023 2021 to 2022
Core Funding & Grants $208,219 $553,607
Contracts $423,689 $410,853
Client fees $411,537 $254,634
Donations $28,120 $25,148
Other income $33,692 $29,233
Total revenue $1,105,257 $1,273,475
Expenses
Salaries and benefits $901,635 $803,014
Program delivery — contracted services and supplies $100,391 $290,158
Outreach and community engagement $12,801 $17,060
Rent and occupancy $11,610 $11,470
Professional fees $35,292 $24,770
Staff and organizational development $13,588 $17,733
Office and administration $14,847 $11,307
Insurance $14,539 $9,346
Amortization $5,485 $596
Interest and bank charges $16,112 $10,746
Total expenses $1,126,300 $1,196,200
Totals
Canada Emergency Rent and Wage Subsidies - $33,515
Excess (Deficiency) of Revenue over Expenses ($21,043) $110,790
Revenue
Expenses

The above images are two pie charts. This description is provided for accessibility.

Pie chart 1: Revenue sources
Revenue sourcePercentage
Core Funding & Grants19%
Fee for service37%
Contracts38%
Donations3%
Other income3%
Pie chart 2: Expenses by program
ProgramPercentage
Home Energy Efficiency45%
Stormwater Management22%
Tree Stewardship21%
Project Neutral1%
ClimateActionWR3%
Water Conservation8%

Thank You To Our Partners!

Core Funders

We couldn’t do it without you!

Partners in Sustainability

Township of Wellesley logo
Logo for Woolwich Township
Logo for University of Waterloo
Logo shows a stylized tree and the text Ages Foundation
Logo shows a stylized trillium flower and the text Ontario Trillium Foundation/Fondation Trillium de l'Ontario