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Ontario rebates for geothermal, low-carbon measures applauded by OGA


December 14, 2017
By Ground Water Canada

Dec. 14, 2017, Toronto – The Ontario Geothermal Association is applauding the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change’s announcement of a new program of financial rebates for Ontario households interested in improving their energy efficiency and lowering the carbon footprint of their homes through geothermal systems and insulation measures.

The Low Carbon Technology Incentives program is designed to encourage homeowners to invest in building envelope and HVAC upgrades, the Ontario Geothermal Association said in a news release. The primary focus will be on existing detached, semi-detached, and row town houses with rebate values covering 50-75 per cent of the installed costs. Measures include insulation for exterior walls, attics and basements, air sealing, windows (Energy Star Most Efficient) and air and ground source heat pumps.

Rebates for air source heat pumps will range from $1,900 for ductless air source heat pumps to $5,500 for ducted cold climate units. Rebates for geothermal systems will be $2,000 per loop ton for horizontal loop systems and $3,000 per loop ton for vertical loop systems, with additional incentives for adding de-superheaters ($750), domestic water heating ($1,500) and for systems that meet higher efficiency levels (an additional $1,500). Rebates for geothermal will be capped at $15,000 for horizontal systems and $20,000 for vertical loop systems. Additional rebates of $750 per loop ton will be available for replacing existing geothermal heat pumps for more efficient systems.

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Contractor registration for the program will be administered by the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) and will build upon the SaveONenergy contractor database and management processes that are managed on behalf of Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator. There will be specific training and certification requirements for contractors to be registered to offer each of the different program measures, the OGA said.

“We are very pleased with the Ontario Government’s commitment to combatting climate change through investments in low carbon heating and cooling technologies,” said OGA Chair Jim Bolger, president of Waterloo Energy Products in Maryhill, Ont. “Geothermal heat pump systems are the most energy efficient way to heat and cool homes and buildings and, in jurisdictions like Ontario, where electricity is mostly generated without burning hydrocarbon fuels, it also represents a significant way for Ontarians to reduce their carbon footprint.”

The OGA, in partnership with HRAI, is preparing the heating and air conditioning industry in the province to answer questions people might have and to respond to demand for geothermal systems that will be generated by the rebates program.

The OGA is also exploring the potential for introducing geothermal systems into the new home market: “OGA is pleased to be working with Enbridge Gas Distribution in the development of innovative utility models for the geothermal loop assets, which will further increase adoption of the technology,” Bolger said.

For more information about the program, visit the Ontario government’s website page.