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October 14, 2009
City launches new home renovation grant program
  
The City of Toronto today launched Home Energy Assistance Toronto (HEAT), a new incentive program offering residents up to $1,000 when they upgrade their home insulation. HEAT is open to residents of low-rise residential properties, such as detached and semi-detached houses, and townhomes, and is designed to encourage Torontonians to undertake improvements to increase their home’s energy efficiency and reduce associated greenhouse gas emissions.

"Providing grants to make the homes of Torontonians more energy efficient benefits us all," said Toronto Mayor David Miller. "Grants like this allow for the creation of green jobs and decrease our overall energy demands, which in turn reduces greenhouse gas emissions. HEAT will empower residents to act locally to not only save money but to clean our air and protect our environment as well."

There are approximately 450,000 low-rise residential buildings in Toronto today, which account for 19 per cent of electricity and 36 per cent of natural gas consumption in the city. According to research from Ontario Power Authority (2006), residents who retrofit their insulation and use electricity to heat and cool their homes will save, on average, more than 2000 kWh of energy, over $150 on their annual energy bill, and 0.5 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. Residents who use gas will save 600 cubic metres, more than $250 on their annual energy bill, and an estimated 1.2 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the air.

Home Energy Assistance Toronto is a partnership with Federal ecoENERGY Retrofit-Homes, and means that homeowners can now access insulation grants of up to $8,750 in total from all three levels of government. Residents who undertake other important energy efficient upgrades (such as improving toilets, doors, windows or heating and cooling systems) can leverage even more funds - up to a combined $11,000.

“Our Government is working with partners like the City of Toronto to deliver results for our economy today and benefits for homeowners and our environment for years to come,” said the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Natural Resources. “Canadians across the country are participating in the ecoENERGY Retrofit Homes program. This program is creating and protecting jobs in our communities and putting money in the hands of Canadians at a time when they need it most.”

To be eligible for HEAT funds, homeowners must follow the steps (web link in Backgrounder) outlined by ecoENERGY Retrofit-Homes. The steps include hiring a Certified Energy Advisor to conduct a Home Energy Assessment, both before and after renovations.

Toronto is committed to combating climate change. In 2007, City Council unanimously adopted the Climate Change, Clean Air and Sustainable Energy Action Plan, an environmental framework aimed at reducing Toronto’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

Home Energy Assistance Toronto is an important tactic in this aggressive plan, which is why $9 million has been earmarked for HEAT, which will run until March 2012. It is estimated that approximately 9,000 to 12,000 householders will access these home improvement grants during this period.

For more information about HEAT and other City of Toronto environmental programs, visit http://www.livegreentoronto.ca.

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.


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Media contacts:
Lawson Oates, Director, Toronto Environment Office, 416-392-9744, loates@toronto.ca
Lyne Kyle, Senior Communications Coordinator, 416-397-1410, lkyle@toronto.ca
Jocelyne Turner, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Lisa Raitt, 613-996-2007
Media Relations, Natural Resources Canada, 613-992-4447, media@nrcan.gc.ca


Backgrounder

October 14, 2009

City launches HEAT, a way to insulate your home and your wallet

The City of Toronto today launched Home Energy Assistance Toronto (HEAT), a new incentive program offering residents up to $1,000 when they upgrade their home insulation.

Home Energy Assistance Toronto is open to homeowners of low-rise residential properties including single detached, semi-detached, attached (i.e. row houses) and small multi-unit buildings (three storeys or less and maximum footprint of 600 square metres).

HEAT is a partnership with Federal ecoENERGY Retrofit-Homes. To be eligible, homeowners must follow the steps outlined by the Federal program, which include the need to hire an Energy Advisor, certified by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), to conduct a Home Energy Assessment prior to renovation. For more information on eligibility requirements, visit http://www.ecoaction.gc.ca/homes.

The advisor begins by conducting a Home Energy Assessment and creates a personalized Energy Efficiency Evaluation Homeowner Report. This report states the home’s current efficiency rating and features a list of measures that could be completed to reduce its energy consumption, along with grants for each listed improvement. Suggested retrofits could include upgrades to insulation, as well as windows, doors, heating and cooling systems, plus ways to conserve water.

In total, ecoENERGY Retrofit-Homes offers residents up to $5,000 in home efficiency grants. Ontario’s Home Energy Savings Program then matches these grants for another $5,000 (maximum). When combined with HEAT, this means that homeowners can now access up to $11,000 in total grants when they upgrade their home insulation, and also implement other important energy efficient upgrades.

The amounts specifically related to Home Energy Assistance Toronto by area of insulation include:

Ceiling:
• Up to $200 from the City of Toronto
• Up to $1,500 in Federal and Provincial grants

Walls:
• Up to $500 from the City of Toronto
• Up to $3,750 in Federal and Provincial grants

Foundation:
• Up to $300 from the City of Toronto
• Up to $2,500 in Federal and Provincial grants

Visit http://.www.livegreentoronto.ca for more information on the recommended insulation measures for each area of the home.

The decision for Toronto to fund insulation upgrades was based on findings from ecoENERGY Retrofit-Homes. According to Natural Resources Canada, 78 per cent of program participants in Ontario have replaced their heating systems. This is the most common measure undertaken compared to only 20 per cent uptake for re-insulating the attic, 12 per cent for basement insulation, and nine per cent for walls.

NRCan also completed a customer survey of EnerGuide for Houses (the predecessor to ecoENERGY) in 2005 to identify why participating homeowners did not follow through with all of their recommended energy efficiency upgrades. Insulation was the measure identified as the least commonly employed measure, with “high cost of work” listed as the main deterrent by 62 per cent of customers in Ontario. Initial capital investment was also identified as a barrier.

According to research by the Toronto Atmospheric Fund (in collaboration with local contractors), the grant amounts from the City, Province, and Government of Canada should provide residents who upgrade their insulation to the prescribed levels, with approximately 70 per cent of the costs, on average.

City Council has approved $9 million in Home Energy Assistance Toronto grants over the next four years. It is estimated that approximately 9,000 to 12,000 residents will access HEAT funds during this time with an average individual savings of 0.5 tonnes (electrically-heated homes) to 1.2 tonnes (gas-heated homes) of greenhouse gas emissions.

HEAT funds are available to residents who fulfill the eligibility criteria and complete their home renovations between August 6, 2009 (the date of Council’s decision to implement HEAT) and March 31, 2012.

In order to receive the grants, residents need to book a post-retrofit Home Energy Assessment with their Certified Energy Advisor. During this final stage, the Advisor will complete and submit the grant application to NRCan.

The cheque from ecoENERGY Retrofit-Homes will arrive approximately 90 days following the post assessment, followed by another four weeks for the cheques from the Province and City of Toronto.

For more information on HEAT and other City of Toronto environmental programs, visit http://www.livegreentoronto.ca.

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:
Lawson Oates, Director, Toronto Environment Office, 416-392-9744, loates@toronto.ca
Lyne Kyle, Senior Communications Coordinator, 416-397-1410, lkyle@toronto.ca













 

 

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