Table of Contents
Save Energy, Save Money
You can save energy, save money and enjoy being comfortable in your home. Modern lighting gives you a huge range of choice and high efficiency lights can last years longer. Smart appliances can help you wash dishes or do laundry when prices are lowest. A programmable or smart thermostat can help keep your home at the right temperature, to reduce your costs.
When you use energy wisely, it means cleaner air, lower bills, and less need for new expensive energy infrastructure. The more we save energy, the more money we all save.
You have more choices for saving energy than ever before.
Help for Energy Consumers
Whether you need help for a short period of time or on an ongoing basis, there are options available to you.
1. Save on Energy Home Assistance Program
Participating in the program can help reduce electricity use, help manage electricity costs and improve home comfort.
The program includes an in-home energy assessment, professional installation of energy-saving measures and advice on steps that can be taken to save even more electricity.
All energy efficiency devices and products provided under the Home Assistance Program are directly installed in the home and are free of charge to qualifying participants.
The Home Assistance Program is the first of its kind in Ontario, and is available through participating electricity utilities.
For more information, call: 1-888-668-4636.
2. Ontario Electricity Support Program
For example, if your net annual household income is under $52,000 and depending on how many people live in your home, you may be eligible.
Monthly savings range from $30 to $50 per household.
For some customers, the need to use more power is unavoidable. If your home is electrically heated, or you rely on an approved medical device requiring a lot of electricity, this program offers a higher monthly credit amount.
To find out if you are eligible and how to apply, visit: OntarioElectricitySupport.ca
Questions? Call: 1-855-831-8151
3. Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit
The maximum amount you may get is based on the amount of rent or property tax you paid for your principal residence in Ontario, the amount of energy costs paid for your principal residence on a reserve in Ontario, or the amount of your accommodation costs paid for living in a public long-term care home in Ontario for the year.
The credit is part of the Ontario Trillium Benefit, which is paid from July 2016 to June 2017.
For the 2016 benefit year, you may get up to $224 for home energy costs, up to $784 (for non-senior single people and families) and up to $924 (for senior single people and families) for property taxes. You must apply for the credits on your 2015 tax return. To find out if you qualify, visit:
Call: 1-866-ONT-TAXS (1-866-668-8297).
4. Debt Retirement Charge
All electricity users with a residential rate class account will automatically have the DRC removed from their bills.
Users with general service-rate class accounts (for example multi-unit buildings such as apartments or condos), may also be eligible for a DRC exemption for each eligible residential unit.
To find out if your building qualifies, contact your electricity distributor or visit: ontario.ca/drc
Call: 1-866-ONT-TAXS (1-866-668-8297).
5. Northern Ontario Energy Credit
Part of the Ontario Trillium Benefit, this credit helps Northern Ontario residents with the higher energy costs they face living in the north.
Northern Ontario encompasses the districts of Algoma, Cochrane, Kenora, Manitoulin, Nipissing, Parry Sound, Rainy River, Sudbury, Thunder Bay and Timiskaming.
For the 2016 benefit year, you may get up to $146 per single person and $224 per family for your energy costs.
To find out if you qualify, visit: www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/credit/noec/
6. Rural and Remote Electricity Rate Protection
This rate subsidy addresses the higher cost of distributing power to certain rural and remote areas. The reduction is already built into electricity rates.
For more information, call: 1-888-668-4636.
7. Low-income Energy Assistance Program
This program provides one-time emergency funds towards your unpaid electricity and natural gas bills.
Qualifying customers can have up to $500 in emergency assistance applied to their natural gas and electricity bills ($600 if the home is heated electrically).
If you qualify, you and your utility may be able to make special arrangements such as waiving your security deposit, allowing longer payment times and more.
To learn more, visit: ontarioenergyboard.ca/OEB/Consumers
8. Enbridge Gas Distribution Home Winterproofing Program
The Home Winterproofing Program helps eligible low-income Enbridge customers reduce their energy costs and make their homes healthier, comfortable and energy efficient. Qualified customers may be entitled to free energy efficiency upgrades, including:
- new insulation and draft proofing installed by experienced professionals.
- savings of approximately 30% on your energy use — for lower energy bills.
The Home Winterproofing Program is free to qualifying residential customers.
For more information, visit: enbridgegas.com/Winterproofing
9. Union Gas Home Weatherization Program
The Home Weatherization Program helps eligible low-income Union Gas residential customers lower their energy costs and make their homes healthier, comfortable and energy efficient.
If you and your home qualify, Union Gas will conduct an energy audit, at no cost to you, to find out what improvements your home needs. Then, if required, Union Gas will install insulation as needed to your basement, walls and attic. They may also install a programmable thermostat, an energy efficient shower head and additional water savings products to lower your heating and hot water costs. You can save up to 30% on your energy use.
For more information and to pre-qualify online, visit: uniongas.com/weatherization
Using Energy Wisely
You can use energy wisely without compromising your comfort at home.
Whether it’s staying comfortable in the winter or cool in the summer, there are many simple yet meaningful improvements you can make to improve your home, manage your energy bill and help the environment.
Saving energy is the cleanest and most cost-effective energy resource; you save on your energy bill while reducing the need to build costly new energy infrastructure.
Save on Energy programs are available through your local electricity utility, with the support of the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). The programs offer financial incentives to help you install energy-efficient products improving the energy efficiency of your home.
Check it out: Easy Ways to Save Year Round
- Consider a home energy audit to help identify energy saving opportunities in your home.
- A programmable thermostat can reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 10 per cent and a smart thermostat can control your home’s temperature remotely.
- Replace light bulbs with CFLs or LEDs.
- Install a motion sensor that turns outside lights on and off automatically.
- Phantom Power can account for up to 10 percent of household energy use. Unplug electronics when not in use or use a power bar with a timer or auto-shutoff.
- When upgrading your appliances buy ENERGY STAR certified dishwashers, refrigerators, washers and dryers.
- Rebates are available through your contractor to help reduce the cost of purchasing and installing a new high efficiency furnace or air conditioner.
- Wash your clothes in cold or warm water. Approximately 85-90 per cent of the energy used by washing machines is for heating the water.
- Don’t keep that old, inefficient refrigerator or freezer running in the basement for occasional refreshments. It could cost you $150 or more per year.
- When away on vacation, adjust the thermostat and lower the temperature on your water heater.
- Use the saveONenergy coupons in this booklet.
- Consider energy-efficient features when building or buying a new home and talk to your contractor about the New Home Construction Program.
- Shift your electricity use to off-peak prices after 7pm and before 7am.
Warm up to Winter Savings
- In the winter, set your thermostat to 20 °C when you are home and 18 °C overnight or when away.
- A clean furnace filter will help your heating system work better, use less energy and last longer. Clean or replace furnace filters once a month during heating season.
- Add weather stripping to doors and windows to reduce heating costs by up to 30 per cent.
- Wrap your electric hot water tank with a blanket.
- A heavy-duty outdoor timer will automatically turn your seasonal lights on and off.
- Close heat registers in rooms you’re not using.
- Open blinds during the day and close them at night.
Cool Off with Summer Savings
- In the summer, set your air conditioning to 25 °C when you are home and 28 °C when away.
- Avoid running your air conditioner between 11am and 5pm. Try cooling with a fan first.
- Keep blinds, shades and drapes closed during the hottest part of the day.
- Use a solar blanket to keep your swimming pool warm overnight. Use timers to run pool pumps, filters and heaters during off-peak periods when prices are lowest.
For more energy saving tips, visit: emPOWERme
Renovating or purchasing a new energy-efficient home? Find out what you need to know at:
- Natural Resources Canada: nrcan.gc.ca/energy/efficiency/housing/home-improvements/4995
- Enbridge Gas : enbridgegas.com/homes/manage-energy/renovations-upgrades/
- Union Gas: uniongas.com/residential/save-money-energy/upgrades-renovations
Evict Your Phantom Power
Many electronic devices like TVs, cable/satellite boxes, computers and cell phone chargers—even coffee makers and electric toothbrushes—draw “phantom power,” which means they use electricity unless they’re unplugged.
If you plug these into a power bar with a switch, you can turn them off fully when not in use.
Natural Resources Canada also has tips available to make homes more efficient. nrcan.gc.ca/energy/efficiency/housing/home-improvements/4995
|Electronic equipment||Unit energy consumption (kWh/y)||Energy consumption when not actively used (idle/sleep/off mode in kWh/y)|
|STB – Cable, Satellite||104||45.8|
|Video Game Console||88||61|
|Compact Stereo System||75||38|
What You Need To Know About Natural Gas
More than three million homes across Ontario are heated by the province’s two largest natural gas companies—Enbridge Gas Distribution and Union Gas.
Along with home heating, natural gas is often used for cooking, heating water, drying laundry, running fireplaces and barbeques.
Enbridge Gas Distribution Home Energy Conservation and Adaptive Thermostat Programs
With energy expertise and incentives of up to $2,100 to qualified homeowners, this program makes it easy and affordable for you to improve the energy efficiency of your home, lower your energy bills and lessen your home’s impact on the environment.
Enbridge is also offering $75 towards the purchase and installation of an Adaptive Thermostat.
To find out which models qualify for this offer and for details on these programs, visit: enbridgegas.com/energyefficiency
Union Gas Home Reno Rebate Program
Planning renovations or upgrades to your home? The right renos will make it more energy efficient. You could receive substantial rebates from Union Gas when you replace your home heating or water heating system, improve your home’s insulation or replace windows and doors to increase your home’s efficiency. These upgrades will reduce your energy bills and make your home more comfortable for you and your family.
For a list of eligible rebates and how to take advantage of this program, visit: uniongas.com/homereno
Air Source Heat Pumps
Air source heat pump technology transfers heat from outside or inside a building to aid in heating or cooling. This promising technology can provide a highly efficient heating solution for homes.
Hydro One Networks is piloting air source heat pump (ASHP) programs to learn more about the technology and its deployment.
Hydro One Networks launched two ASHP pilot programs in Fall 2015:
- The Heat Pump Advantage – Heating System Rebate pilot is for customers with a central electric furnace or electric baseboards. Qualified customers can expect to reduce heating costs by about 50 per cent, for up to $1,500 in electricity bill savings annually.
- The Heat Pump Advantage – Water Heating Rebate pilot is for customers with electric water heaters. Qualified customers can expect to reduce water heating costs by about 50 per cent, for up to $400 in annual savings.
For more information contact your local distribution company.
Track, Measure and Manage Your Progress with Ontario’s Green Button
The Green Button initiative puts your consumption data at your fingertips. Through Green Button, you get access to your utility consumption data, which can be shared with innovative software apps, so you can view and manage your own usage.
London Hydro is piloting Green Button apps, including these innovative and creative examples. To learn more, visit: mygreenbutton.ca/residential.
MyEyedro is a fun, fast and free way to manage electricity use. At home or on the go, customers can see how they measure up against family, friends, and find out how much they can save when they take control.
Bidgely’s HomeBeat is a web and mobile app that provides customers with a trusted energy advisor to help them understand energy use by showing the impact of individual appliances on the bill and providing them with tips to reduce consumption.
Wattsly is a personalized energy butler that helps residential customers monitor and lower their electricity usage, and make better choices for their wallets and for the planet. Wattsly was the GOLD prize and People’s Choice winner in the 2014 Energy Apps for Ontario Challenge. They were also featured in the U.S. White House 2014 Energy Datapalooza.
Hydro One is piloting Eyedro in some areas of the province.
For more information, contact your local distribution company.
Take Action Today!
To find out more about any of the programs listed in this booklet, contact your electricity or natural gas company directly.
For a list of the province’s local distribution companies, visit:
- Ontario Ministry of Energy: emPOWERme1-888-668-4636.
- Ontario Energy Board:
For coupons on ENERGY STAR® certified specialty CFL light bulbs, ceiling fans, power bars with integrated timers and more, visit: saveONenergy.