That's a great question. Thank you.
To be clear, the businesses set their own goals. For each community a framework is provided, and by that I mean the rules by which they can set a target. In Waterloo region, for example, the targets are between 20% and 100% over 10 years. A group such as Sustainable Waterloo Region presents its rules and asks what target the company would like to set.
Typically, when a business joins the program, the payback periods they're looking at are one year or less. Ideally, as they see results in projects of that kind that are smaller in scale, such as lighting and thermostats, with the savings they receive they are enlightened to consider projects with a longer payback. Here we see companies looking at solar and other renewables, LEED building retrofits, larger changes to their fleet.
We have had projects by companies within the programs whose completion is 10 to 12 years out, but by no means is that the norm. It's not a mandate from a group like Sustainable Waterloo Region. The targets are voluntary, and the programs and the projects that are completed are set by the companies. Our hope is that over time, as the companies learn from each other and the “business as usual” shifts, businesses will be more open to projects with longer paybacks.