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HomeNewsThousands Of Local Residents May Qualify For Free Heat Pump

Thousands Of Local Residents May Qualify For Free Heat Pump

KAWARTHA LAKES-According to Save On Energy up to 37,000 households in the Kawarthas may qualify for a free heat pump but many aren’t aware of the program.

With one in three Canadians living in a household with financial difficulties, a new way to save money on their electricity bills could be welcome news for many Ontarians. Save on Energy (operated by IESO, Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator) says it is providing FREE cold climate air source heat pumps to income-eligible Ontario households with electric heating. Heat pumps can save up to 50% on the heating portion of electricity bills, compared to the cost of home heating with an electric furnace or baseboard. Officials say cold climate air source heat pumps are designed to work in freezing outdoor temperatures that make up Canadian winters. When the cold climate air source heat pumps are installed, the home’s original heat source is left intact as a secondary/backup option.

“We’re empowering more Ontarians to saving on heating costs,” says Jessei Kanagarajan, Senior Manager of Residential and Community Support Program Performance at the IESO. This is a completely FREE program for Ontarians who qualify. There is NO catch. There are nearly about 150,000 households heated with electricity that now qualify for free cold climate air source heat pumps.”

What is an air source heat pump?

“A heat pump is a high-efficiency appliance that runs on electricity to heat and cool your home year-round,” says Alex Smith, Supervisor of Community Support Programs at the IESO. “This high-efficiency system extracts heat from the air, compresses it and moves it to where it needs to go—either inside or outside your home. In the summer, the heat pump works in reverse. It pulls hot air from inside your home and transfers it to the outdoors, becoming a high-efficiency air conditioner.”

Officials say heat pumps are extremely efficient because moving heat takes a lot less energy than generating it, the way a furnace or baseboard heater does. Save On says cold climate air source heat pumps are designed to work all year, even in cold Ontario winters. and they also dehumidify and filter the air in your home.

HOW the program works: Participants must apply for the Energy Affordability Program. Qualification is based on household income and size OR receipt of a qualifying government or energy-support benefit.

Both homeowners and renters qualify. Residents of social housing may also be eligible. Applying takes just minutes: go to saveonenergy.com/EAP or call 1-844-770-3148.

To qualify, households have an annual household income (before tax) for 2023 that does not exceed the following limits:

  • 1 person = $45,322
  • 2 people = $64,095
  • 3 people = $78,499
  • 4 people = $90,643
  • 5 people = $101,343
  • 6 people = $111,015
  • 7+ people = $119,910

OR one of the following:

  • Receive assistance from a government program in the past 12 months: Allowance for the Survivor, Guaranteed Income Supplement, Allowance for Seniors, Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), Healthy Smiles Ontario Child Dental Program
  • Received a Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) grant or were part of the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) within the last 12 months.

As a bonus participants with electrically heated homes who qualify for the Energy Affordability Program, receive not only a FREE cold climate air source heat pump, but also qualify for energy-saving upgrades that include FREE replacement appliances, such as ENERGY STAR® refrigerators, freezers, window air conditioners, lighting and more.

Ontarians who heat their homes with sources other than electricity can also apply for the program.  While they don’t qualify for the for the heat pump, they may be eligible for other free energy-saving upgrades.

And, customers of Enbridge Gas who have participated in its Home Winterproofing Program, also automatically qualify for free energy-saving upgrades.

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