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Ontario Launches a New Program to Help Reduce Electricity Costs

November 08, 2017

In a concerted effort to help reduce electricity costs, the Ontario government has launched a new program that supports various energy efficiency upgrades. The idea is to help residential homeowners improve energy efficiency throughout the home, thus reducing electricity bills, and ultimately reducing personal carbon footprints.

As part of Ontario’s Fair Hydro Plan, the new affordability fund will help reduce electricity costs by providing free installation of various energy-saving components - like LED light bulbs; energy efficient power bars; better thermal insulation; and high efficiency air conditioners and fridges. Province wide, electric savings will be dramatic. 

Lower electricity bills will make life more affordable for many. The program will specifically help people who would be unable to make energy efficiency upgrades without financial assistance.

Of course, cost savings will depend on the types of improvements that are made. The point is, every effort, large or small, makes a difference.

While everyone can personally help reduce electricity costs, the affordability fund encourages far more participation. As an example, installing LED light bulbs and a couple energy efficient power bars can save measurable electricity monthly. More than that, an energy efficient fridge can save almost $100.00 a year in overall electricity costs.

Qualifying for free energy efficiency upgrades

For some people, the cost of energy-saving improvements is out of reach. As such, local electric utilities and community services are providing opportunities to help reduce electricity costs. Currently, there are a number of free energy-saving upgrades available, each of which will measurably lower home energy consumption and therefore reduce the monthly electricity bill.

  • ENERGY STAR® certified LED lamps/lights
  • ENERGY STAR® certified electric appliances
  • Thermal insulation, air sealing, weatherizing

In order to qualify for the program, Ontario residents can rent or own their property, live in a house, condo, or apartment, and qualify based on household income and average electricity bill.

Option 1

Applicants receive a Home Energy Kit that allows for easy self-installation of components. The kit may include ENERGY STAR® light bulbs; energy efficient power bar; and faucet aerators.

Option 2

An in-home visit is arranged with a professional Home Energy Advisor, who assesses the home and recommends an Energy Plan with upgrades that might include ENERGY STAR® appliances. 

Option 3

Homes that use electric heating, will have a professional Home Energy Advisor formulate an Energy Plan with upgrades that could include insulation upgrades, or high efficiency heat pump.

Ontario’s Fair Hydro Plan – a step-by-step approach

Ontario’s Affordability Fund is designed to help reduce electricity costs for Ontario residents who cannot otherwise make energy saving improvements. When qualifying, residents are assessed based on net family income and average energy bills. An online system makes it easy to establish eligibility and further calculate the assistance level.

Residents will be asked about their total household net income, frequency of that income, and details of their monthly energy bills. Applicants will also be asked about any late payment fees and any disconnection charges that may have arisen. In addition to the online system, applicants can also contact the Affordability Fund by telephone.

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