Often important solutions to common problems are right under our nose. That’s the case when it comes to tackling urban carbon emissions in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). Buildings are the region’s largest emissions source, making it imperative that we improve their energy efficiency. The Atmospheric Fund’s TowerWise program shows how we can achieve our emission targets:
The most recent phase of the TowerWise program, we retrofitted 10 social housing buildings with over 1,500 units. And more buildings will join the next phase of TowerWise soon – targeting even higher emission reductions. But now we need homeowners, condo buildings, and apartment building owners to plan their own energy efficiency upgrades.
It’s not just about shared climate, but also about your pocketbook: Our work shows that retrofit projects not only save carbon emissions, but are also profitable and can provide co-benefits such as improved resilience and a more comfortable interior environment. Over time, the energy savings from building retrofits pay for the initial investment. Fortunately, there are plenty of programs that help you plan and finance your own retrofit project.
Interested in upgrading your building’s energy performance? We’ve compiled a number of grants and incentives that are available in Ontario. Please check with your Local Distribution Company to learn more about what’s available in your area:
Windows & Building Envelope
- Enbridge Home Winterproofing Program provides free new insulation installation as well as draft proofing measures.
- Union Gas Home Weatherization Program delivers energy efficiency home improvements such as insulation installation to homeowners for free.
Heating & Cooling
- Hydro One Heating and Cooling Incentives offer up to $5800 in incentives for home heating and cooling equipment.
- Save on Energy Heating and Cooling Incentive Program offers rebates for high efficiency furnaces, air-conditioning units and heat pumps through the Green Ontario Fund.
- Toronto Hydro offers up to $850 in air-conditioning and furnace installations.
- Union Gas Home Reno Rebate provides up to $5,800 in renovation rebates plus additional electric appliance rebates, e.g. for upgrading your heating system or getting an air-source heat pump.
Help for Seniors and Low-Income Homeowners
- City of Toronto Renovates Homeowners Program provides funding for lower income seniors and people and disability to make health & safety repairs, as well as accessibility modification to their homes.
- City of Toronto Property Tax Appeal offers residents the opportunity to request that their taxes should not be increased following a retrofit project.
- Save on Energy Home Assistance Program supports low-income homeowners, tenants and social housing providers by providing free upgrades to reduce energy usage.
- City of Toronto Home Energy Loan Program provides low-interest loans for energy efficiency home retrofits.
- CMHC Green Home Program offers a refund of up to 25% to borrowers who either buy, build or renovate for energy efficiency using CMHC-insured financing.
- Enbridge Home Energy Conservation Program is available to homeowners who complete at least two eligible energy upgrades, e.g. installing a high-efficiency furnace, an air source heat pump, insulating your attic, walls, and/or basement insulation, for a total of up to $5,000.
- Hydro One Home Assistance provides three energy savings upgrades
Residential Building Owners
There are also a number of incentive programs worth looking into for condo boards and apartment rental building owners:
- City of Toronto High-Rise Retrofit Improvement Program (or Hi-RIS for short) makes low-cost financing available to undertake a variety of building improvements that lower energy and water consumption.
- City of Toronto Eco-Roof Incentive Program makes grants available for the installation of green and cool roofs on Toronto homes and buildings.
- Enbridge Commercial Custom Retrofit Program awards incentives to multi-residential building that invest in capital projects that save natural gas. Common examples include upgrading to energy efficient boilers and water heaters, installing make-up air units, or implementing building controls.
- Enbridge Fixed Incentive Program offers incentives to help offset the cost of installing energy efficient natural gas equipment in new and existing buildings, e.g. condensing boilers, air doors, and low-flow showerheads.
- Enbridge RunitRight Program offers up to $10,000 towards eligible costs for low or no cost operational improvements that will reduce your energy usage and save you money.
- Toronto Hydro PUMPsaver Program will install variable frequency drives to your hydronic systems free of charge, resulting in 35% energy efficiency savings.
- Union Gas Equipment Incentive Program provides financial incentives for space and water heating equipment.