Ontario Home Energy Savings Program Key to Building a Culture of Conservation
Ontario is committed to building a culture of conservation.
It's central to the government's energy plans and at the heart of the Green Energy Act. Key to this aim is the Ontario Home Energy Savings Program (OHESP) through its combination of energy audits and energy retrofit grants. Home energy audits help increase awareness about the energy we use in our daily lives. Plus financial support for retrofits can help consumers to tangibly reduce energy use which leads to lower energy costs.
HOME ENERGY AUDITS VITAL TO UNDERSTANDING ENERGY USE
The OHESP provides homeowners with up to $150 towards the cost of an initial home energy audit, completed by a Natural Resources Canada-certified energy advisor. Homeowners are provided with a personalized energy efficiency report, including a rating from 0 to 100 (the higher the number, the more energy efficient the home is). Also, the adviser provides advice on voluntary changes that can be made to the house to make it more energy efficient and could result in reducing your energy bill. It is up to the homeowner to decide whether to make those changes.
The program provides key incentives for making improvements, including:
- heating, cooling and ventilation systems
- domestic hot water system
- solar hot water and geothermal systems that use renewable energy sources
- insulation (including ceiling, exposed floor, foundation, basement, and crawl space)
- air sealing
- doors and windows
- water conservation toilets
SUPPORT FOR HOME ENERGY RETROFITS CRITICAL TO FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE
Since it launched in March, 2007, the Home Energy Savings Program has provided over $75 million in grants to homeowners who have completed 150,000 audits and 52,800 retrofits. This has resulted in a reduction of 191,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) and energy savings equivalent to the heating and cooling needs for 36,600 homes.
With $178 million in new funding added in the 2009 Ontario Budget, the enhanced program is expected to achieve an additional estimated CO2 saving of 538,000 tonnes and energy savings equivalent to the heating and cooling needs for 101,000 homes over the next two years.