Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada

February 20, 2007 10:00 ET

Governments and Ontario Power Authority announce new program for energy conservation in construction of affordable housing

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Feb. 20, 2007) - The Ontario Power Authority (OPA), Canada's New
Government and the McGuinty government joined forces today to announce a
$3.7 million program to encourage the use of energy efficient products in the
construction of new housing built under the Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing
Program.
The announcement was made by Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
John Gerretsen, and Canada's Minister of Natural Resources Gary Lunn.
"This initiative will stimulate the use of energy efficient products by
allowing providers of affordable housing to claim a rebate of up to $850 per
unit," said Gerretsen. "It will significantly reduce energy consumption, and
be a showcase for other affordable housing providers to illustrate the savings
that can be obtained through the use of energy efficient products."
"These are creative financial initiatives that are going to produce
tangible results," said Minister Lunn. "Canada has more than 13 million houses
and buildings. They consume 30 percent of our energy and emit about 30 percent
of our greenhouse gases. If we can provide attractive incentives for builders
and developers to use energy-efficient products, we'll make real progress in
reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions."
The new program - with $2.4 million in funding from the OPA and
$1.3 million from Natural Resources Canada - enables affordable housing
providers funded by the Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program to
incorporate energy efficiency measures and practices in the new affordable
housing stock. The OPA has retained the services of the Ministry of Municipal
Affairs and Housing to help implement the program.
Under the program, these affordable housing providers can claim rebates
of up to $850 per unit to offset the cost of purchasing and installing a wide
range of energy efficient products, including ENERGY STAR® qualified
appliances such as refrigerators and laundry machines, lamps and lighting
fixtures, and heating and ventilation equipment, including furnaces, boilers,
pumps, fans and motors.
The program also incorporates an education and awareness component which
will be delivered to affordable housing stakeholders including municipalities,
housing providers, builders, architects, developers and residents.
When fully implemented, the initiative is projected to result in a
savings of 2,326 megawatt hours of electricity per year in Ontario, and help
keep rents and housing costs affordable over many years.
The Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program comprises a commitment of
$301 million from each of the two senior levels of government. In total, the
federal, provincial and municipal governments will invest at least
$734 million in the program, which will provide affordable housing for 20,000
Ontario households by 2010.
In pursuit of its mandate of ensuring an adequate, long-term supply of
electricity for Ontario, the Ontario Power Authority creates and implements
conservation and demand management programs, ensures adequate investment in
new supply infrastructure, performs long-term electricity system planning, and
facilitates the development of a more sustainable and competitive electricity
system.
The Government of Canada recently announced a suite of ecoENERGY
Initiatives - $2 billion in funding designed to help boost clean energy
supplies, help Canadians use energy more efficiently and develop clean energy
technologies. The $300 million ecoENERGY Efficiency Initiative will promote
smarter energy use and reduce the amount of harmful emissions that affect the
health of Canadians.

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For more information visit: www.mah.gov.on.ca
www.nrcan.ca
www.powerauthority.on.ca


Backgrounder
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AFFORDABLE HOUSING ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROGRAM
>>

The Ontario Government, the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) and Natural
Resources Canada (NRCan) are leading the way in developing programs that will
encourage the use of energy-efficient products and practices in the
construction of housing created under the Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing
Program.
The MMAH-OPA-NRCan Energy Efficiency Program, Phase One, will offer
affordable housing providers up to $850 per unit to help offset the
incremental cost of purchasing ENERGY STAR® qualified products.
An education and awareness program will be delivered to affordable
housing stakeholders through municipal service managers to raise awareness
among housing providers, builders, architects, developers and residents of
energy efficiency and energy-efficient product choices. The ENERGY STAR mark
helps consumers identify the most efficient product available to Canadians.
Ontario Power Authority and Natural Resources Canada are funding Phase
One of this program for a combined total of up to $3.7 million, to be
completed by September 31, 2007.
Phase One is projected to result in a savings of up to 2,326 megawatt
hours of electricity per year in Ontario, when fully implemented.

Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program

The Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program (AHP) comprises a
commitment for affordable housing in Ontario by federal, provincial, and
municipal governments to at least $734 million over the life of the program.
This allocation will fund up to 15,000 new units of affordable housing and
will provide housing allowances for up to 5,000 lower-income households in
Ontario by 2010. For more information, please visit: www.mah.gov.on.ca.

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Objectives

- Incorporate energy efficiency measures and practices in the
affordable housing units, under the Canada-Ontario Affordable
Housing Program.

- Capture potential energy savings in Ontario's affordable housing
sector through the installation of energy-efficient products,
building improvements, and training and education of stakeholders in
the Canada/Ontario Affordable Housing Program.

- Encourage, promote, increase awareness, and installation of
energy-efficient products, such as ENERGY STAR® qualified products
(where it applies).

- Enhance long-term affordability of housing costs for housing
providers and low-income residents of the Canada/Ontario Affordable
Housing Program.
>>

Eligibility and Target Market

Phase One of the program will target up to 5000 affordable housing units
throughout Ontario. Projects under the Rental and Supportive, Homeownership,
Northern and Housing Allowance components of the AHP are eligible to
participate in the program. MMAH will be issuing program guidelines and
application forms for participation.
AHP residents include a combination of homeowners and tenants such as
recent immigrants, victims of domestic violence, low-income seniors,
aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, persons suffering from mental
illness, and the working poor.

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Program Details

Under Phase One, the MMAH-OPA Energy Efficiency Program will entail:
1. A financial rebate of up to $850 per unit to offset the incremental
cost of energy-efficient products and ENERGY STAR qualified products
(where it applies);
2. Education, training, and communications to promote energy-efficient
practices amongst AHP stakeholders and residents;
3. Promotions and communications to ensure AHP municipal service
managers, AHP developers and builders, housing providers, and
residents are aware and participate in the program;
4. Energy efficiency information and technical resources provided to
service managers, housing providers, AHP developers and builders;
5. Program Evaluation.

Applicants may receive financial incentives for these energy-efficient
products:

- ENERGY STAR® qualified lighting lamps and fixtures (interior
in-suite and common areas, and outdoor)
- ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerators
- ENERGY STAR qualified laundry machines
- ENERGY STAR qualified dishwashers
- ENERGY STAR qualified heating and ventilation equipment (furnaces,
boilers, heat pumps, ventilating fans, etc.)
- Energy-efficient motors and fans
- Automated control systems (including occupancy sensors, lighting
controls, integrated control systems, and programmable thermostats.)

Benefits

Phase One of the Program will:

1) Demonstrate the common commitment of both the federal and provincial
governments to:
- Improve the quality of the environment by encouraging a culture
of conservation
- Reduce greenhouse gas emission through the reduction of
electrical energy use.

2) Establish the linkage and demonstrate the impact that energy
efficiency has on reducing operational costs in affordable housing,
and housing costs for residents.

3) Reduce the electricity bills of AHP residents who pay for electricity
directly, putting money back into the pockets of those who need it
most.
>>

Program Implementer

The OPA has retained the services of MMAH to deliver the program.

Social Housing

In Spring 2006, the Ontario Power Authority launched a $9.25 million
Social Housing Program - Phase One, targeting 5,000 social housing units, in
conjunction with the Social Housing Services Corporation's "Green Light
Initiative."

Energy Efficiency Assistance Program for Houses

The Ontario Power Authority launched a $2.9 million pilot program in
selected communities across Ontario to support energy conservation in the
province's low income housing sector. Green Communities Canada and
EnviroCentre have been contracted by the OPA to design and deliver the program
to 1400 low income households residing in private single, semi-detached and
row houses.

About The Ontario Power Authority

In pursuit of its mandate of ensuring an adequate, long-term supply of
electricity for Ontario, the OPA creates and implements conservation and
demand management programs, ensures adequate investment in new supply
infrastructure, performs long-term electricity system planning, and
facilitates the development of a more sustainable and competitive electricity
system.



Program Contact Information

Ontario Power Authority Ministry of
Erika Lontoc Municipal Affairs & Housing
Manager, Program Delivery Dino Radocchia
Erika.Lontoc@powerauthority.on.ca Manager, Home Ownership and Remote
416 969-6425 Housing
Dino.Radocchia@ontario.ca
416 585-6410

Sandy Kiang Mary Roufail
Analyst, Program Delivery Account Coordinator
Sandy.Kiang@powerauthority.on.ca Mary.Roufail@ontario.ca
416 969-6418 416 585-6436


Disponible en français

Contact Information

  • Patti Munce,
    Minister Gerretsen's Office,
    (416) 585-6333;

    Kathleen Olson, Acting Director of Communications, Office of the Minister,
    Natural Resources Canada, (613) 996-2007;

    Tim Taylor, Ontario Power Authority, (416) 969-6353