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Cash for Conservation: Ontario’s Climate Plan Delivers

Wednesday, June 20th 2007 4:42:05pm

Media Release – For Immediate Release

(Toronto, Ontario, June 20, 2007)  The Province of Ontario is pitching in $150 million dollars to help Ontarians save energy at home and buy green power.  Chris Winter, Executive Director of the Conservation Council of Ontario, is calling on community groups across Ontario to pick up the challenge and help promote the conservation incentives and support programs.  

“We’ve said all along that Ontario’s climate change plan has to put people and conservation at the heart of Ontario’s efforts, and the government has delivered,” stated Winter.  “This is absolutely fantastic.”

The government’s incentives include:

• Matching the federal EcoENERGY subsidies for home energy retrofits;
• Point-of-sale rebates on Energy Star appliances;
• Subsidies for passive and photovoltaic solar panels; and
• Subsidizing the added cost of converting to 100% green power.

“Everyday I get requests from people asking me for information on incentives for conservation and solar panels.  Now, I finally have some good news for them,” said Winter.

The incentives bring new challenges in helping people find the solutions and incentives that best fit their needs.  ”We need to reach out to every home in Ontario,” said Winter, “and there’s no better way than through community groups and summer campaigns.”

Winter noted there is $1.5 million dollars available for community-based outreach projects through the Ministry of Energy’s Community Conservation Initiatives fund, but the applications are due June 29th.   Details are at the ministry website, http://www.energy.gov.on.ca/index.cfm?fuseaction=conservation.community

The Conservation Council is offering to help any group that can hire summer students to reach out to their community through community workshops and a conservation challenge.  

The Council has also released its own five-year Conservation Challenge, which is available on its website, www.weconserve.ca.  Among its challenge targets (which exceed the provincial targets) are to raise 70% of the existing Ontario homes to an Energuide 70 rating by 2012 (up from the current average of 54), and to reduce residential electricity to an average of 750 kWh/month (down from the current level of 1,000 kWh).

“The Province has given us the incentives.  Now it’s up to all of us to build a conservation movement across Ontario,” said Winter.

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CONTACT:  Chris Winter, Executive Director, 416-533-1635 ext 1, cell: 647-393-5000

The Conservation Council of Ontario is a provincial association of organizations and conservation leaders working to facilitate the transition to a conserver society and a conserver economy in Ontario.  Visit www.weconserve.ca for more information.