Ontario Housing Co-ops: How to Cut Your Energy Costs for a Better Bottom Line

6 December 2021

If your co-op does business with Enbridge gas in Ontario, you’ll want to read this.

Enbridge Gas offers a program for Ontario housing co-operatives (customers only) that will mean energy savings. 

The Affordable Multi-Family Housing Program provides money towards capital improvements that will cut your co-op’s gas consumption, improve energy efficiency and save you money. The program is for multi-unit residential buildings over three storeys (described by the OBC Part 3 as buildings > 600m2). It offers up to $200,000 in incentives (maximum: 50% of the project cost) for renovations and new construction. 

Before getting started, we recommend that you contact an Enbridge Energy Solutions Advisor for answers to any questions about the programs and how to apply. Connect with an Energy Solutions Advisor here.

The multi-residential program includes the funding and incentives below:

Building energy audits: If your co-op plans an energy audit, you can receive funds covering the full cost of the audit. Pre-approval is required, so talk with an Energy Solutions Advisor before you book the audit. Here are the rules:

  1. Up to $8,000 per building; annual maximum limit of $40,000 per co-op
  2. Your co-op must intend to do a reasonable amount of the recommended work
  3. Your co-op must include expected costs and paybacks on recommended work
  4. The application must include your co-op’s actual gas costs, not just an average number

Equipment incentives: If your co-op plans upgrades or replacements, you can qualify for the amounts below.

  1. Make-up air units: up to $26,000
  2. Boilers: average incentive of $22,000
  3. Water heaters: up to $900
  4. In-suite energy and heat recovery: up to $250 per unit

Custom incentives: If your co-op undertakes a custom project to reduce gas consumption in your building… 

  1. You could qualify for a maximum of $200,000 or 50% of the retrofit cost (whichever is less)
  2. Possible projects include insulation upgrades, heat recovery, control systems, building automation systems and variable frequency drives

Free in-suite measures: If your co-op is heated with natural gas, Enbridge will install for free…

  1. Low-flow showerheads in all eligible units.
    1. 1.5 GPM or less
    2. existing showerheads must be >2.5GPM
  2. Heat reflector panels in apartments with hot-water radiators or another kind of hydronic unit
  3. Smart thermostats: free smart thermostats, installation and tenant education for new and previous participants of HWP Programs.
    1. Member instruction at each installation (15-20 minutes)
    2. Optional staff training 
    3. Manual and troubleshooting FAQs available 
    4. Thermostats provided and installed by Ecofitt Corp. or authorized HWP delivery agent

For more information, please check Enbridge Gas’ website.

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Capital Plans and Contributions

Comparing 2007 and 2020, we saw the median annual contributions per unit almost triple ($1,026 per unit to $3,052).