Ontario Parties Support Heat Pumps and Energy Efficiency Retrofits to Varying Degrees

With the 2022 Ontario General Election underway, political parties have been rolling out their campaign platforms.  Platform documents articulate a set of goals that are supported by a political party and when entering office often become the objectives to be accomplished while in office. Of course promises made aren’t always kept, but platforms do tell us the direction parties want to go.

This week the Ontario New Democrats released their campaign platform, in which they made a commitment to provide grants and interest-free loans for energy-efficient upgrades to homeowners. The NDP plan would offer homeowners grants of $7,000 to $11,000 for the household upgrades such as heat pumps, high-efficiency electric water heaters, efficient windows, insulation, deep energy retrofits, and energy efficiency assessments.

For any costs over the amount of that grant, the NDP say they would offer zero-interest financing that Ontarians would pay off over time through their electricity bill. The party’s climate plan also commits $40 billion over four years for measures such as a retrofit program for public, residential and commercial buildings, electrifying transit, and an electric vehicle strategy.

The Ontario Liberals include an element in their platform entitled “A Place to Grow” which promises 100,000 grants of up to $3,000 each year to people and businesses for green renovations such as new windows and heat pumps. In addition, they would provide interest-free loans for deeper retrofits. There is also a plan to retrofit schools, hospitals, colleges, universities, social housing, and other public sector buildings to make them energy-efficient and climate-resilient.

Just today the Ontario Green Party released its platform “New Solutions to Old Problems” which outlined a Green Retrofit Program that would retrofit 40 percent of existing Ontario homes and workplaces by 2030, and 100 percent by 2040. The plan includes rebates of between $15,000 and $20,000 for homeowners, depending on household income, to cover the costs of the retrofits like installing heat pumps and improved insulation. The Greens have made an additional commitment to providing financing options to people and businesses to promote the installation of air and ground source heat pumps. Further, the Green Party will propose bringing down the cost of key decarbonizing equipment, such as heat pumps, through bulk purchasing and government procurement.

Prior to beginning the election period, the current Progressive Conservative Government released its 2022 Budget, called Ontario’s Plan to Build which a week later effectively became the party’s campaign platform.  This document includes a commitment of up to $4.5 million to support a “Clean Home Heating Initiative” that would help households in London, St. Catharines, Peterborough and Sault Ste. Marie keep energy costs down.  The pilot, in partnership with Enbridge Gas, would support the installation of electric heat pumps with smart controls for up to 1,000 households across these communities, providing homeowners with $3,000 to $4,500 in incentives.  This provincial project would build off the initial approximately 100 home Hybrid Heating Pilot Program launched last summer by Enbridge, supported by London Hydro and the City of London.

For more information, contact Chelsea Goberdhan at 1-800-267-2231 ext. 236 or email cgoberdhan@hrai.ca

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