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Ontario’s Climate Action Plan takes bold steps with help for consumers to become more energy efficient

OTTAWA June 8, 2016 – After months of consultations with stakeholders the Ontario government has released a five-year Climate Action Plan that embraces giving consumers the opportunity to become more energy efficient. Consumers will now be rewarded with incentives for considering energy efficient options for everything from home retrofits and audits, to cars and garages.
“CEEA is very pleased with the introduction of the mandatory home energy ratings and disclosure program for houses about to go on the market. This is a real win for consumer protection and energy efficiency,” says Elizabeth McDonald, president and CEO of the Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance (CEEA).

Home buyers will now be able to access information from an energy audit on properties they are considering purchasing. While it will be mandatory for home sellers to undergo the audit the government will be footing the cost. This is something that CEEA has been advocating for the past several years, particularly as part of the Home Energy Transparency Coalition which has been advocating for energy labelling for resale homes – energy labelling is something that currently only exists for newly built homes.

The Ontario Climate Action Plan also includes over $500 million for homeowners to make their homes more energy efficient through retrofits, including installing smart technology such as wireless thermostats including those from Nest or Canada’s Ecobee. No doubt many homeowners will be taking advantage of these incentives before they list their homes for sale.

There are also significant incentives for electric vehicles and the plan encompasses a look towards the future by changing the building code to accommodate the need for plugs for car charging. New houses with garages must now be built with a50-amp 240-volt plug.

Seeing changes to the building code and incentives for energy audits and retrofits is encouraging for CEEA and its members that provide products and services in the energy efficiency sector. We’re looking forward to hearing from the federal government after it processes feedback from citizens and stakeholders for its climate action plan. CEEA submitted its proposal to the federal Ministry of Environment and Climate Change on May 31.  The submission Toward a Low-Carbon, Energy Efficient Canada can be found at: http://energyefficiency.org/resources/reports/

About CEEA
The Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance (CEEA) is the country’s leading independent advocate promoting the economic and environmental benefits of energy efficiency. CEEA works with the federal and provincial governments and stakeholders, to ensure energy efficiency is a priority for all sectors of the economy. By monitoring, examining and developing energy efficient public policy ideas, programs and standards, CEEA is an effective resource for policy makers, businesses, consumers, energy companies and environmental groups.
CEEA’s members include large international corporations, Canadian utilities and a wide variety of energy efficiency associations including the Canadian Construction Association, ElectroFed, HRAI and the Mechanical Contractors of Canada. Representing almost 25,000 like-minded industry members, CEEA is proud to advance a strong voice for energy efficiency.