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FORUM: Making Ontario a green leader (Jan. 2018)

January 29th, 2018 · 1 Comment

Provincial fund for making homes energy-efficient

By Han Dong

As I look to the new year, I always look for ways we can improve. There are so many great organizations, businesses, and non-profits looking to make positive changes in our community. In many ways, these places are on the forefront for creating opportunities to make Ontario a world-class place to live.

Helping families make their homes greener with small changes

Ontario’s new Spadina-York subway line has replaced 2,500 bus trips per day. The trip to York University has never been easier (or greener!). What used to be a lengthy commute to the university has been shortened significantly. Getting to school is easier, faster, and more energy-efficient.

The provincial government is working to help Ontarians make similar changes in their own lives. Sometimes a simple, small fix can make the greatest impact. The Green Ontario Fund helps families adjust to make their homes more energy-efficient. Climate change is real and is not going away. We need those who are willing to make changes with us.

The Green Ontario Fund, a non-profit provincial agency funded by Ontario’s carbon market, can help families make their homes greener with small changes. The program helps homeowners save money on major retrofits to fight climate change.

GreenON Rebates, which will require homeowners to work with qualified contractors, includes:

  • Up to $20,000 to install ENERGY STAR certified ground source heat pumps
  • Up to $4,500 to repair existing heat pump systems
  • Up to $5,800 off air source heat pumps that are ENERGY STAR certified or meet program requirements
  • Up to $5,000 for high-performance replacement windows that meet program requirements
  • Up to $7,200 off new insulation and an additional $100 rebate for air sealing.

Any contractors willing to participate should visit GreenON.ca/contractor-signup, find out how to qualify, and then register. Only certified contractors can ensure the best results for energy efficiency.

GreenON Rebates is one of the agency’s first consumer programs focused on helping people save money as they reduce greenhouse gas emissions at home.

The Green Ontario Fund was launched in August 2017 with a mission to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions from buildings and the production of goods — two of the most significant contributors to climate change. You can learn more at GreenOn.ca.

The agency is a key pillar in the province’s Climate Change Action Plan, which has more than 90 measures to reduce Ontario’s carbon footprint to help meet the province’s short- and long-term greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

Without Ontario’s cap and trade program, these programs couldn’t exist. Cap and trade has been controversial in some circles, but the funds made available have been able to finance green initiatives across the province. The November cap and trade auction generated an estimated $422,081,073 in proceeds. By law, these funds must be invested in programs reducing greenhouse gas.

It’s important to ask ourselves: how can we be better for the community? How can we come together to solve problems? What can we do better than we did last year? Big problems like climate change require complete community support to solve. I want to raise my family in a clean and healthy province. Together, I know we can make Ontario a leader in climate change policies.

Han Dong is the member of provincial parliament for Trinity-Spadina.

Tags: Annex · Opinion

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