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October 14, 2009
City of Toronto solar experts show how easy it is for families to heat water with solar power
  
City of Toronto staff and Councillor Joe Mihevc (Ward 21 St. Paul’s) participated in an event on Humewood Drive in Ward 21 this morning to show residents how easy it is to install solar hot water heating units on their homes.

Councillor Mihevc, who recently installed a solar hot water unit on his own home, hosted the demonstration and information session. City energy consultant Rob McMonagle and Toronto Building director Mario Angelucci were on hand as solar installation experts available to answer questions.

Using free energy from the sun, solar hot water systems can provide up to 50 per cent of the hot water needed for an average Toronto home. Displacing natural gas or electricity used for heating water with solar energy reduces greenhouse gas emissions - on average 0.6 tonnes a year per household. That is roughly equivalent to the emissions saved by leaving your car at home one day a week, or by not using a home air conditioner. Solar water heating virtually eliminates a home's local air pollution emissions during the summer.

"The City of Toronto is already making great strides towards reducing emissions. All City councillors should set an example for their community when it comes to energy conservation and the environment," said Councillor Mihevc. "This was the next step for me after I did my energy audit and the upgrades like improving my insulation and draft proofing. It's amazing how even the smallest improvements help a homeowner save money and the environment."

The City of Toronto is ready to lead Toronto into solar heating one neighbourhood at a time. In 2008, the City introduced its pilot Solar Neighbourhoods project, which was geared to help residents in Ward 30. Recently, the project expanded into Wards 29, 31 and 32. The program helps residents assess their home’s suitability for solar panels, assist with installation steps, monitor the system and provide financing options - offering cash rebates of up to $1,000. Soon, the City hopes to move this program into other neighbourhoods as well.

Solar Neighbourhoods has been developed jointly by Toronto Atmospheric Fund, Toronto Hydro, Toronto Energy Efficiency Office and Toronto Environment Office, with core funding from a provincially-mandated contribution from the Portlands Energy Centre.

The Solar Neighbourhoods program is one of many emission reduction actions residents of Toronto can explore to help the City reach its climate plan targets. To find out more about what the City is doing and how you can contribute, visit the Live Green Toronto website at http://www.toronto.ca/livegreen. This one-stop website is filled with tips, success stories, learning opportunities, information updates - even rebates and grants that will inspire residents to keep taking the small steps that lead to a healthier planet.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of Toronto's incorporation as a city. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contacts:
Cindy Bromley, Communications Manager, Finance & Administration, 416-392-4993, cbromley@toronto.ca
Alessandra Mazzone Pompeo, Communications Coordinator, Finance & Administration, 416-397-9997, amazzon@toronto.ca


 

 

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