Toronto — Increasing Energy Efficiency of Residential Buildings

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Buildings account for about half of Toronto's overall greenhouse gas emissions. To increase energy efficiency in privately owned residential buildings, Toronto took advantage of recent changes to Ontario's Local Improvement Charge (LIC) regulations, allowing municipalities to use LICs as loans to finance energy retrofits on private property.

Home Energy Loan Program (HELP) and High-Rise Retrofit Improvement Support Program (Hi-RIS) have successfully stimulated energy and water retrofits in privately owned residential buildings. To date the programs have achieved energy savings of 25 per cent and 28 per cent respectively through long-term, low-interest loans to finance energy and water efficiency retrofits.

HELP is geared toward single-family homeowners, while Hi-RIS operates as part of the city's Tower Renewal Program and focuses on older apartment buildings. Collaboration with Toronto Hydro and Enbridge Gas ensures linkages with existing conservation incentives.

The programs are estimated to reduce annual GHG reductions of 4,900 tonnes while lowering energy bills for property owners.

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