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Hydro One Joins With CMHC and NRCan to Provide Home Energy Efficiency Grants to Low-Income Homeowners

TORONTO, Ontario, October 14, 2005 — Hydro One has teamed up with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) to provide financial incentives for energy-efficiency upgrades to low-income Hydro One customers who heat their homes with electricity. This is the first initiative of its kind in Canada, where three different organizations have come together to provide substantial benefits to homeowners who might not otherwise be able to afford upgrades.

"This is an excellent opportunity for low-income Hydro One customers to benefit from energy-efficiency measures and reduce their power consumption," explained Tom Parkinson, President and CEO, Hydro One. "We're hoping to set a model for other utilities to follow."

Under the Home Energy Efficiency Grant initiative, Hydro One will offer up to $3,000 per qualifying household. The subsidy will be used in conjunction with funds and services available from CMHC's Homeowner Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) and NRCan's EnerGuide for Houses service.

"This partnership agreement is a substantial step forward in making housing and home energy costs more affordable in Ontario and contributing to more sustainable communities. By working together across departments and levels of government, we can address housing need while promoting energy savings, and helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions," said Minister Joe Fontana, Minister of Labour and Housing.

CMHC will process applications from Hydro One customers through its RRAP program, which provides funding for low-income homeowners to make health and safety repairs to their homes. In addition to the assistance under RRAP, eligible applicants will receive an EnerGuide for Houses energy evaluation that offers recommendations on energy saving solutions. The evaluation will include electrical space and water heating, and improving the "thermal envelope" of the home such as air sealing. Energy evaluations after the upgrades are completed will be conducted by NRCan to determine energy savings.

"Low-income Canadians are particularly hard hit by high energy prices and the Government of Canada is taking action to provide both short and longer term measures to deal with these rising costs," said John McCallum, Minister of National Revenue and Acting Minister of Natural Resources. "This program will help many low-income Ontario residents save an average of 30 per cent on their heating bills by making their homes more energy efficient. They'll also be doing their part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change."

"The McGuinty government is working hard to create a culture of energy conservation and efficiency across Ontario," said Donna Cansfield, Minister of Energy. "This conservation program is a prime example of taking an energy challenge and turning it into an energy opportunity. This is good news for both the ratepayer and the environment."

Hydro One owns and operates Ontario's 28,400 kilometre high-voltage transmission network that delivers electricity to large industrial customers and municipal utilities, and a 122,000 kilometre low-voltage distribution system that serves about 1.2 million end-use customers and smaller municipal utilities in the province. Hydro One is wholly owned by the Province of Ontario.

CMHC is Canada's national housing agency with a mandate to help Canadians gain access to safe, quality and affordable housing. CMHC supports the Canadian housing industry and improves the living conditions of Canadians through mortgage loan insurance and securitization, assisted housing, research and information transfer and the promotion of Canadian housing exports.

For more information, contact Hydro One Media Relations 24 hours a day at 1 877 506-7584 (toll-free in Ontario only) or (416) 345-6868 or visit their website at www.HydroOne.com.

Peter Graham
Director of Communications
Minister's Office
(819) 953-5646

Shane Diaczuk
Director of Communications
Minister's Office
Natural Resources
(613) 996-2007

Media Inquiries

Christine Choury
Chief, Media Relations
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
(613) 742-5344

Public Inquiries

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
1 800 668-2642

Backgrounder

CMHC Renovation Programs

RRAP assists low-income households occupying substandard housing units by providing financial assistance to the owner to repair or rehabilitate the property to a minimum level of health and safety. The program also funds the modification of dwelling units to improve accessibility for persons with disabilities. In some areas of Canada the program is cost-shared and delivered by local provincial/territorial jurisdictions.

Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Programs:

The Homeowner RRAP offers financial assistance to low-income households who own and occupy substandard housing to enable them to repair their dwellings to a minimum level of health and safety.

Who is eligible?

Homeowners may apply if:

  • the value of their house is below a specified figure; and
  • their household income is at or below established ceilings (limits) based on household size and area.

Properties must be lacking basic facilities or require major repair in one or more of five categories:

  • structural;
  • electrical;
  • plumbing;
  • heating;
  • fire safety.

Assistance may also be available to alleviate overcrowding.

Potential applicants should call 1 800 704-6488 to find out if they may be eligible.

What assistance is available?

The maximum loan amounts available vary according to the three geographic zones. Additional assistance may be available in areas defined as remote.

Maximum Total Loan
Zone 1: Southern areas of Canada
$16,000
Zone 2: Northern areas of Canada
$19,000

IMPORTANT: Funding is limited and any work carried out before the loan is approved, in writing, is not eligible for assistance under this program.

In some areas of Canada, funding for these or similar programs is provided jointly by the Government of Canada, and the provincial or territorial government. In these areas, the provincial or territorial housing agency may be responsible for delivery of the programs. Program variations may also exist in these areas.

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

 

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