January 16, 2006

Toronto Hydro incentive program helps housing agency upgrade appliances, lighting

As part of its conservation and demand management (CDM) program, Toronto Hydro is providing an incentive of $1.6 million to Toronto Community Housing (TCH) for a series of initiatives that will reduce electricity demand in the housing agency's properties by 10 megawatts (MW). The incentive will help replace 23,000 old refrigerators, stoves and washing machines with new Energy Star-qualified appliances. It will also contribute to retrofitting 19 TCHC buildings with energy-efficient lighting products, including building lighting, compact fluorescent light bulbs and light dimmers. The Toronto Hydro-TCH partnership is one of the utility's biggest CDM projects so far.

Toronto Community Housing is the largest social housing provider in Canada and the energy costs associated with running buildings that are not energy-efficient, combined with old, energy-guzzling appliances, are overwhelming. The agency has about 80,000 older refrigerators and stoves in its portfolio.

Putting Energy Star-qualified appliances into these buildings will cut appliance-related energy costs by 50 to 75%, thus helping TCH manage its costs as utility prices increase. The incentive from Toronto Hydro will help defray the cost of replacing 23,000 of these appliances with new, Energy Star-qualified refrigerators that only use up to 372 kWh/year and stoves that use up to 450 kWh/year.

During 2005, TCH already replaced more than 25,000 appliances, with a value of nearly $9.5 million, noted TCH chair Dr Mitchell Kosny. "The Toronto Hydro program makes a welcome contribution to Toronto Community Housing's Green Plan commitment to Kyoto-compliance by the year 2012. Credit should also be given to the Toronto Atmospheric Fund who helped in the early stages to conceptualize the program and continue to provide support," he added.

The replacements and upgrades will continue through September 2007.

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