Ontario Investing $100 Million to Create Jobs and Help Homeowners Save Energy
Green Investment Fund Fighting Climate Change, Growing Ontario’s Economy
The province is putting its new Climate Change Strategy into action by investing $100 million from the Ontario Green Investment Fund to take advantage of the economic and job opportunities in clean technologies and to help homeowners reduce their energy bills and cut greenhouse gas emissions.
In partnership with Enbridge Gas Distribution and Union Gas, the program will help about 37,000 homeowners conduct audits to identify energy-saving opportunities and then complete retrofits, such as replacing furnaces, water heaters and upgrading insulation. It will also help spur innovation and create jobs in clean energy industries. Full program details, including program start date, eligible project details and amounts, will be available in the coming months.
Energy efficiency retrofits can save natural gas consumers money on their energy bills. Historically, every dollar invested in natural gas efficiency has resulted in $1.50 to $4 in savings for natural gas consumers.
Ontario's Green Investment Fund is a $325-million down payment on the province's cap and trade program to strengthen the economy, create jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In 2014, Enbridge Gas Distribution and Union Gas residential energy efficiency programs resulted in a 500,000 tonne reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. This new $100 million investment is expected to save an equivalent of 1.6 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.
Fighting climate change while supporting economic growth, efficiency and productivity is part of the government's plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.
- Enbridge Gas Distribution and Union Gas have been delivering natural gas efficiency programs across the province to the industrial, commercial, and residential sectors for over 20 years. Together, they supply over 99 per cent of Ontario’s residential natural gas customers.
- Enbridge Gas Distribution and Union Gas currently offer rebates for energy audits, heating system replacement, ENERGY STAR windows, air sealing and insulation. Incentive levels for retrofits under current programs typically range between $500 and $2000 and depend on the amount of natural gas savings the customer can demonstrate.
- A homeowner in Toronto whose home was built prior to 1990 could see annual bill savings on average of about $400, by investing in new high-efficiency heating systems, attic insulation and air sealing.
- Natural gas conservation programs between 2005 and 2013 resulted in 47 million tonnes of lifetime greenhouse gas reductions. The new Demand Side Management Framework for natural gas conservation, covering the period 2015-2020, is expected to result in over 42 million tonnes of lifetime greenhouse gas reductions.
- The government’s new $325 million Green Investment Fund was announced in the 2015 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review.
- In December 2015, Ontario invested $20 million from the Green Investment Fund to build more public charging stations for electric vehicles.
- Ontario undertook North America’s single biggest climate action when it permanently closed all of its coal-fired power plants.
- In May 2015, Ontario became the first province in Canada to set a mid-term greenhouse gas pollution reduction target of 37 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030.
- Ontario is working with the residential construction sector on ways to prevent illegal practices that contribute to the underground economy, in order to strengthen worker and consumer protections.
“Climate change needs to be fought around the globe and it needs to be fought here in Canada and Ontario. The action we are taking today will help secure a healthier environment, a more competitive economy and a better future for our children and grandchildren.”
“Improving energy efficiency in the home is one of the most important actions we can take in the fight against climate change. This investment will help homeowners upgrade their homes and save money, while keeping Ontario on the path toward a low carbon future.”