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The GreenON Social Housing Program - How it works

March 27, 2018

The GreenON Social Housing Program – Created By the Green Ontario Fund

An agency of the Government of Ontario created this fund to promote energy-efficient retrofits for the social housing sector. Big picture, the idea is to measurably reduce greenhouse gas emissions that emanate from social housing units throughout Ontario.

In practice, service managers who are responsible for social housing facilities can apply for funding to support building upgrades and retrofits targeting energy efficiency. The GreenON Social Housing Program also funds energy audits to identify various carbon saving opportunities.

Many of Ontario’s social housing units were built when little attention was focused on energy-efficiency. As such, funding from the GreenON Social Housing Program will support energy efficiency upgrades, helping to improve building performance, reduce operating costs, and enhance tenant comfort and quality of life.

What energy upgrades, retrofits or improvements are eligible?

Amongst other energy-centred programs, the GreenON Social Housing Program provides added support for Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan. Building managers can choose from a number of upgrades, improvements, and retrofits – all of which will contribute to better energy efficiency.

  • upgrading existing building insulation (exterior/interior)
  • replacement of heating and/or cooling systems (HVAC)
  • reinstallation of window systems and/or exterior doors
  • re-cladding, upgrading, or air sealing building envelopes
  • energy audits to identify and assess performance issues

In many buildings, insulation upgrades are the best retrofits

In terms of return-on-investment, insulation retrofitting delivers both short term and long term benefits. This is particularly relevant with spray foam insulation, which yields higher energy efficiency than anything comparable (any other product or product combination).

Professionally installed, spray foam insulation does it all with a single application. The building is sealed airtight. Installed R-Values ensure maximum insulation performance and enhanced indoor comfort. Moreover, the structural strength of the building is optimized post-installation.

Building insulation is always a worthwhile project investment. The energy savings in winter and summer are significant enough to allow for a relatively short “payback” period, and therefore a favourable cost/benefit result. Best of all, spray foam insulation never requires replacement.

Quick facts about the GreenON Social Housing Program

Beyond energy efficiency, the GreenON Social Housing Program supports upgrades, renovations, and retrofits that will improve living conditions for lower-income tenants. At the same time, these focused investments will also ensure the long-term sustainability of the building, saving money going forward.

Over the next three years, Ontario is investing $25 million to upgrade energy efficiency in social housing buildings (less than 100 units). In addition to this, $2 billion will be invested into affordable housing.

There are also programs and rebates available to households (and businesses) to reduce annual energy costs, lessen greenhouse gas emissions, and fight worldwide climate change.

Bottom line, governments around the world are operating on the premise that every $1 million invested in energy efficiency retrofits in multi-family affordable housing buildings generates between $1.3 and $3.9 million in energy savings. These numbers are drawn from the findings of a 2012 Deutsche Bank study.

Participating in the GreenON Social Housing Program

The GreenON Social Housing Program is targeted at low-rise or high-rise social housing buildings with less than 100 units. Service Managers for these types of buildings can apply for funding based on program guidelines and eligibility requirements. Depending on the scope of work and the specific energy retrofit, we encourage Service Managers to work only with licensed and accredited contractors.

Working with the professionals at Great Northern Insulation

Service Managers interested in participating in Ontario’s GreenON Social Housing Program can contact Great Northern Insulation to manage the entirety of their energy efficiency retrofit for: insulation upgrades, air sealing building envelopes and more. On major projects like these, GNI provides the most experienced team of professionals – the best installers, field superintendents, and technical staff in the industry.

Great Northern Insulation has been providing industry-leading expertise for almost 40 years. We service a range of residential, commercial, and institutional clients throughout the province, and are recognized for our superior workmanship (with installers who are licensed and accredited by third parties). Contact GNI to start energy retrofits in your social housing building today!

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