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Energy Efficiency Programs/Financial Incentives in Ontario

The Office of Energy Efficiency (in Canada) offers many financial incentive programs to minimize energy consumption and promote energy efficient practices among Canadian households. Every province has its own set of programs and this series will look at a few provincial programs applicable to residential households.

City of Toronto Water Efficiency and Rebate Programs

The City of Toronto has created the Water Efficiency Plan comprising of educational programs and financial incentives for residents and businesses to minimize water consumption. Programs under this Water Efficiency Plan include:

  • The Residential Toilet Rebate Program;
  • Residential Washer Rebate Program, Capacity Buyback Program;
  • Summer WaterSaver Visits;
  • Sewer Surcharge Rebate Program;
  • Basement Flooding; and,
  • Drain Grant.

More details about these energy management programs can be found here.

Hydro One peaksaver PLUS

Residential customers with a separate central air conditioning unit in good working order are eligible to receive a free programmable thermostat and energy display through this program funded by the Ontario Power Authority (please note that heat pumps are not eligible).

The residence must be a single family dwelling and tenants must furnish written permission from the landlord. Under this program, at times of peak demand during summer, the thermostat may be signaled to cycle the central air conditioner in 15-min intervals. Since the furnace fan will run as usual, there will not be a discernible difference in temperature, thereby maintaining the existing comfort level. The program is implemented only on weekdays between 1.00 PM and 6.00 PM for a maximum of four hours. Registration for the program can be completed online at this link or by calling 1-866-380-6051 . More Hydro One programs can be found on this page.

Horizon Utilities Corporation also offers a similar peaksaver PLUS program for its customers.

Enbridge Take Action with Programs for Savings

Take Action with Programs for Savings (TAPS) is an initiative to create awareness about energy efficiency. Under this program, natural gas water heating customers residing in single family and low-rise dwellings can receive free energy saving products including up to two energy-efficient shower heads (with installation), two faucet aerators (kitchen + bathroom), and four CFLs.

Quan International Inc. (QTAPS) delivers this program on behalf of Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc. One point worth noting is that the contractor delivering the service may not recognize or take the time to study the existing setup (it is possible that some homes have better or similar energy-efficient products in place already), leading to unnecessary hardship for some customers as discussed here.

Net Metering

The net metering regulation is applicable to any commercial and residential customer who generates electricity from a renewable source such as water, wind, or solar, primarily for their own usage. This regulation allows such a customer to send the electricity they generate from a renewable source to the electrical grid and receive a credit towards their energy bill. If the power supplied to the grid is worth more than the power received over a billing cycle, then the customer will receive a credit that can lower their energy costs.

For a full list of programs currently available in ON, please visit this page and customize your search.

Do you know of other lesser-known energy management financial incentives for the residential customer in the province of Ontario? Have you taken advantage of such programs?

About the Author: Clark works in Saskatchewan and has been working to build his (DIY) investment portfolio, structured for an early retirement. He loves reading (and using the lessons learned) about personal finance, technology and minimalism. You can read his other articles here.

4 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. 1. SST

    Funny thing about programs such as these is that they work until they don’t.

    I live in British Columbia and the city of my residence has, for the the last few years, been offering different incentives etc. for reduction in water consumption.

    Seems the people went whole-hog on the idea and REALLY saved on water, so much so that the city was now short revenue and was forced to raise rates.

    We are now paying more for less by implementing the government’s strategy and for doing the right thing.

    As far as energy/electricity goes…well, the antics of B.C. Hydro have assured continual rate hikes for years to come.

    But over-all, it’s just a good idea to be efficient with energy consumption regardless of any monetary incentives.

  2. 2. Lynne

    I live in Ottawa and the same thing happened. We got rebates for all kinds of things and then the city raised everybody’s rates up. Again this year we are facing another 7% and next year too! I have come to the conclusion that the City of Ottawa cares more about cash than it does about water conservation.

  3. 3. SST

    Politicians/civil servants have never been known for their astute and high-powered foresight.

    The most “energy efficient” thing to do is get off the government grid.

  4. 4. Pam

    I lived in Manitoba which has relatively cheap hydro and then when my husband and I moved to Ottawa we were astounded by the cost of our electricity. There were so many fees added onto the bill that didn’t even relate to the amount of electricity that we used. I remember calling Ottawa Hydro the first time we got a bill because I was sure there was an error.


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