Ontario is Canada’s most populated province and is arguably the economic centre of the country. The government offers a number of benefits and tax rebates to its residents.
Ontario energy rebates incentivize Ontario residents to make their homes more energy-efficient, which reduces the province’s carbon footprint.
Some rebates are available to all Ontario residents, while others are available in certain cities and municipal districts. Below, I’ll give you a quick rundown of some of the most popular Ontario energy rebates, so you can start saving!
Ontario is arguably one of the more progressive provinces in Canada. As I mentioned, it’s also the most populated province, with over 14.5 million residents (and growing).
Of course, higher population levels directly correlate with greater levels of pollution, as residents burn fossil fuels and consume large amounts of gas and electricity.
To reduce the overall carbon footprint of the province, the government of Ontario provides a number of money-saving rebates designed to help residents become more energy efficient.
Additionally, certain cities (like Toronto, for instance) have implemented their own rebates that allow residents to save even more.
Here’s a list of Ontario’s current energy rebates:
- Ontario Low-Income Energy Assistance
- Ontario Electricity Rebate (OER)
- Enbridge Gas Home Efficiency Rebate
- Enbridge Gas Smart Thermostats Rebate
- Toronto Home Energy Loan Program
- Hydro One’s First Nation Conservation Program
- Ontario Energy Affordability Program
Ontario is also known for the Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit (OEPTC), which reduces the amount of taxes that lower-income residents have to pay on their energy and property. This is included as part of the Ontario Trillium Benefit.
The qualifications for each of these Ontario energy rebates differ depending on your economic need, contractor evaluations, and other factors. The good news is that most of these rebates are widely available and are, in fact, encouraged.
In other words – when the government is offering you things for free, take note.
Now that you have a better idea of just how many Ontario energy rebates are available let’s take a few minutes to take a closer look at each.
Below, I’ll give you a quick overview of each, explain how they can help you save, and provide a link to the government’s rebate page, so you can learn more.
- Learn More: Ontario Electricity Rebate
The Ontario Electricity Rebate is Ontario’s latest energy rebate program. It was recently launched in the summer of 2022 by the Ontario Energy Board.
The OER provides eligible Ontario residents with an 11.7% rebate on electricity costs, which really adds up at the end of the year. The best part about the Ontario Energy Rebate is that it’s automatically applied to every electricity bill.
You don’t have to apply for this rebate separately, either. If you’re eligible, the percentage will be automatically deducted from your monthly energy bill. This means that you may already be receiving this Ontario energy rebate.
To verify this, just take a closer look at your last power bill and note the deductions line.
- Learn More: Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)
The cost of energy can become quite high, especially during the frigid Ontario winters. At a certain point, it can be hard for lower-income residents to keep up with these costs.
To ensure that all Ontario residents have access to the energy they need to keep their furnaces running, the government of Ontario launched the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP).
Ontario’s LEAP program is designed to provide assistance to individuals who are in danger of having their electrical service disconnected after falling behind on monthly payments.
To apply for LEAP, your income must fall below the threshold, and you must show that you’re having real financial difficulty in keeping up with your payments.
The maximum grant amount for LEAP assistance is $1,000 for gas-heated homes and $1,200 for electric-heated homes. Residents are not allowed to receive this grant more than once per year. However, it’s an excellent initiative to have on standby for emergencies.
- Learn More: Energy Savings Rebate Program
The federal government partnered with the province of Ontario to create the Ontario Energy Savings Rebate Program. The goal of this rebate is simple- to make it easier for Ontario residents to afford energy-efficient appliances for their homes.
This not only helps retailers (by increasing sales) but also helps consumers by allowing them to install appliances in their homes that use less electricity and save them money in the long run.
Ontario residents are eligible to receive up to 25% at various appliance retailers up to $500. Ductless mini-split indoor heat pumps and tankless condensing water heaters are eligible for up to $1,000 worth of rebates per purchase (as they’re a fairly expensive purchase).
These rebates are issued at the register as you’re checking out, which is a great incentive to go buy new appliances. The retailers are then reimbursed by the government to cover the cost of the rebates.
Almost all of the appliances that are eligible for this rebate are Energy Star-certified. You can see a complete list of eligible appliances on the government’s website here.
- Learn More: Enbridge Home Efficiency Rebate
Enbridge is the largest gas provider in Ontario and currently provides service to around 75% of residents. Enbridge offers its Home Efficiency Rebate Program to help Ontario residents receive rebates by upgrading their home’s energy systems.
To apply for the rebate, you must be an Enbridge customer, and you must work with an Enbridge registered energy advisor to analyze your residence for eligibility. The advisor will then be able to explain what rebates you’re eligible for and where your home can improve in efficiency.
Eligible customers can receive up to $5,000 worth of discounts and rebates, so this Ontario energy rebate is definitely worth looking into.
- Learn More: Enbridge Smart Thermostats Rebate
Just as Enbridge offers energy rebates for installing energy-saving appliances in your home, the gas provider also offers a simple, easy-to-use $75 rebate on popular smart thermostats, such as:
- Google Nest
- Emerson Sensi
Smart thermostats allow you to control your thermostat when you’re not at home and often provide more accurate readings, which can allow you to reduce your overall energy expenditure. So this rebate is a no-brainer if you live in Ontario.
- Learn More: Toronto Home Energy Loan Program
The city of Toronto ran a program that allowed eligible residents to borrow up to $125,000 to improve vital home appliances and energy products, such as:
- Water heaters
- Heating systems
- Solar panels
- Insulation installation
- High-efficiency HVAC systems
- … and more
The Toronto Home Energy Loan Program (HELP) made it possible for everybody to install high-quality energy-efficient appliances in their homes.
Toronto is no longer accepting applications for the HELP program. Instead, the Toronto city government is directing applicants to apply to the federal government’s new Canada Greener Homes Loan – an initiative that provides very similar financing and loan terms.
- Learn More: Hydro One First Nation’s Conservation Program
Hydro One is one of the largest electric distributors in northern Ontario. This region of Ontario has a higher population of indigenous peoples. Out of respect, the company aims to provide eligible First Nation communities with free energy upgrades.
To verify your eligibility for the program, you’ll need to consult with a representative from Hydro One. This Ontario energy rebate can help you save thousands in home upgrade costs, though, so don’t sleep on it!
- Learn More: Ontario Energy Affordability Program
Ontario’s Energy Affordability Program doesn’t offer the high-dollar rebates that some of the other rebates I’ve mentioned do. However, the program does offer a lot of free (and incredibly useful) small products to eligible homeowners.
Some of the most common items issued by the program include:
- Smart power strips
- High-efficiency showerheads
- LED light bulbs
- Attic and basement insulation
- Clothes drying lines
- Window A/C units
- … and more
If I’m being honest – I could even use some extra lightbulbs in my home. This is a great way for frugal Ontario residents to save money on some basic essentials.
Safety and Scams to Beware of
Energy rebates and incentive programs can help Ontario residents improve the energy efficiency of their homes and save money. But with any program that involves financial transactions, it’s essential to be aware of potential scams. Here are some safety tips and signs of possible scams:
- Unexpected Visits: Be wary of unsolicited door-to-door salespeople claiming to represent the Ontario government or utility companies and offering energy rebates. Government agencies and utility companies usually communicate through mail, email, or telephone if you have agreed to this form of contact.
- High-Pressure Tactics: Scammers often try to pressure people into making immediate decisions. Legitimate agencies and companies will give you time to research and think about any offer.
- Requesting Unnecessary Personal Information: Be cautious about providing personal information. Scammers may ask for sensitive information like your Social Insurance Number (SIN), which is not required for legitimate rebate programs.
- Unusual Payment Methods: Be suspicious of anyone who asks for payment through prepaid debit cards, wire transfer, or cash. Legitimate rebate programs typically credit the amount on your utility bill or provide a cheque or direct deposit.
- Verification: Always verify the identity of the person or company offering the rebate. Ask for identification, and cross-check this with publicly available contact details for the company. Do not use the contact details provided by the person until you have verified they are correct.
Ontario energy Rebates: FAQs
To wrap this article up, let’s take a quick look at some of the most commonly asked questions about Ontario energy rebates.
For the most part, all Ontario residents are eligible to receive some form of Ontario energy rebate. Low-income assistance programs are, of course, only available based on your income.
However, most homeowners in Ontario will be eligible to receive at least some type of rebate or financial assistance when upgrading their homes to higher-efficiency systems.
Ontario energy rebates are issued at different times, depending on the rebate in question. For example, some rebates are automatically applied at the cash register, while others come in the form of a mailed cheque several weeks after you upgrade your appliances.
Upgrading your home’s appliances to more energy-efficient systems will undoubtedly save you money in the long run by reducing your monthly gas and electric costs.
However, the upfront cost of upgrading appliances can often be a roadblock. Thankfully, Ontario energy rebates make it easier for homeowners to afford these costs and reduce their carbon footprint.
Looking for more ways to save money in Ontario?
Keep on reading and check out my post on the 15 best ways to save money on a tight budget next!