Rewards for retrofits

Green$aver executive director Kathy Allan came to TAF in 2001 to propose a cash incentive program to motivate homeowners to reduce their energy consumption. A small pilot project in Peterborough already showed promising results. TAF gave Green$aver a $324,000 grant to promote a three-year cash incentive program for Toronto residents. The Green Community Association, Enbridge Gas Distribution and the federal government’s Climate Change Action Fund were key partners. The resulting Home Rewards Program was launched in June 2001, and the immediate results were impressive. Demand for Green$aver’s services – providing energy audits for clients and home energy retrofit advice – nearly doubled. Analysis of the first two years of the program showed that households that undertook energy efficiency improvements were reducing overall energy use by an average of 18%. In 2003, the federal government announced $73.4 million in funding for a national EnerGuide for Houses Retrofit Incentive modeled on the Home Rewards program. Versions of this federal government program, most recently named the ecoENERGY Retrofit Program, continued through to March 2012 serving as the primary driver for residential home energy retrofits during this period.