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Energy Conservation Programs for Low Income Families OEB LEAP Conservation Working Group Cheryl Bezanson, Program Manager, Market Development Thursday.

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Presentation on theme: "Energy Conservation Programs for Low Income Families OEB LEAP Conservation Working Group Cheryl Bezanson, Program Manager, Market Development Thursday."— Presentation transcript:

1 Energy Conservation Programs for Low Income Families OEB LEAP Conservation Working Group Cheryl Bezanson, Program Manager, Market Development Thursday June 25, 2009

2 Overview About Enbridge Gas Distribution –Enbridge’s low income customer reach –Customer care approach Low Income Conservation Programs

3 Enbridge Service Area

4 Enbridge’s low-income households 4,500,000 2,700,000 485,000 170,000 104,000 Ontario households Ontario households in Enbridge franchise Low income households in Enbridge franchise Owner occupied low-income households (pay utility bills) Owner occupied low-income households with natural gas

5 Enbridge Emergency Relief/Assistance and Customer Support Winter Warmth – low income conservation program applications available Winter hardship program –May refer customer to social agencies Golden Age Service Customer Support, i.e., payment arrangements, budget billing plan, disconnection and reconnection arrangements

6 Enbridge Low Income Conservation Programs Programs include: –Various Market Transformation Initiatives –Enhanced TAPS –Weatherization Program

7 Low Income Market Transformation Low Income Education and Supporting Activities –Green Boxes (included Enhanced TAPS applications) delivered through food banks – 2009 initiative under development –Workshops with social agencies through SPNO –Targeted advertising in community/ethnic media –Press releases, MP and MPP mailings, transit ads, etc. –Working with United Way and community based agencies to provide program information and referrals

8 Enhanced TAPS Program Enhanced TAPS Program – launched 2005 –Free installed programmable thermostat, up to 2 low-flow showerheads and kitchen/bathroom faucet aerators and 4 CFLs for self installation –Typical energy savings: Up to $42 in natural gas bill plus programmable thermostat savings T-stat savings typically are 6% in the colder months if temperature is lowered 3 degrees while sleeping or away from home $120 per year on water and sewer bill –Program delivered by contractors across the franchise through neighbourhood blitzes in identified low income areas.

9 Home Weatherization Program Home Weatherization – launched 2007 –Delivery of home energy audits (including blower-door test) to identify eligible homes for implementation of cost-effective building envelope upgrades to increase air tightness. –Measures include: Caulking and weather stripping around doors and door frames, around window casings, around headers and baseboards and attic hatches Insulation into wood framed wall cavities and crawl spaces, attics, and basement walls –Second audit completed after measures implemented –Average utility cost of measures: about $2600 per home

10 Home Weatherization Program –Application process through delivery partners –Income qualifiers are: Income level at or below 146% of LICO Or –Receiving Ontario Works (OW) benefits –Receiving Ontario Disability Support (ODSP) benefits and meets income criteria –Guaranteed Income Supplement –Allowance for Seniors –Allowance for Survivors –National Child Benefit Supplement –Reside in low-rise social housing paying natural gas bill –Home generally needs to be 25 years old or older –Program offered in GTA, York, Durham, Peel, Ottawa and launching in Niagara Region in July.

11 Home Weatherization Program –Typical energy savings: 2008 208 homes retrofitted Average 1,134 m3 of gas per home Average 165 kwh of electricity per home Typical annual natural gas bill savings: about $500

12 Testamonials

13 From: Catherine Burn [] Sent: December-06-07 12:11 PM To: Agatha Pyrka Subject: Sincere Thank You Dear Agatha, Thank you Agatha for processing my application to be a candidate for the Green$aver Program. You have been professional and gracious in each of our contacts and I am truly grateful to you and your thoughtful and caring assistance. Green$aver and Enbridge have done a wonderful thing in helping people like me with minimal income through making it possible to reduce the energy used to heat our homes. Green$aver's staff such as Carl Chen, the energy advisor, Isaac Smith and Jim Caldwell who did the work and the additional helpers on the Friday (regret I did not get their names), were highly professional and personable. I would like to specifically mention Isaac Smith, who I found to be one of those natural leaders with co-workers. They deferred to him, took guidance from him, and while he may not even realize, he was their Supervisor or Team Leader and he did his job admirably with patience and in a modest manner - he simply knew what needed to be done and how it should be done and ensured it was done in a professional and competent manner. I hope the management of your Company will acknowledge these natural skills Isaac Smith has in working with a range of different people. He is very respectful to the home owner and is very respectful to his team. Actually, everyone I had contact with has been polite, helpful, competent and professional. I hope someone will let Enbridge know how much people like me have appreciated the service and hold both Enbridge and Green$aver in high regard as a result of this project. Thank you Agatha, for you were my first contact and I was so hopeful that I might qualify for your service. In the evening when I would finish my chores, and sat to watch the news, I would have a blanket over my lap and a scarf or a hat on my head holding on to a hot water bottle. The temperature in the kitchen was almost always 62 F in the mornings and the evenings. My daughter can't stand being so cold all the time. I kept my thermostat at 68 F to conserve energy and in summer I kept it at 74 F with the same thing in mind. But still, it was always so cold in the winter and so hot in the summer. I am hoping the work to insulate the roof will help with less damage to the house with the melting snow and ice coming in under the shingles even though the roof was re-shingled with ice shields less than 10 years ago. I didn't understand my roof was so poorly insulated and this caused a lot of the problems with loss of heat and drafts and the like. You will never know the difference you have made in the quality of my and my daughters lives, and I look forward to warmer days and nights this winter. God bless you and your associates at Green$aver, and the Management at Enbridge for making this project available to people with minimal income and unable to do this for themselves without incurring a huge financial burden. Sincerely, Catherine Burn

14 Results

15 Challenges Weatherization program uptake –low awareness –lack of trust –hesitant to self identify –language barriers –disruption of household –follow up painting –TRC restraints

16 What Worked Ottawa – leveraged delivery partner’s relationship with Ottawa Community Housing Workshops with SPNO to raise program awareness amongst front line social agency personnel Program applications (Enhanced TAPS) through Green Boxes where Food Banks held workshops with clients Press releases – received some coverage and delivery partner received increased inquiries

17 What Didn’t Work Media – transit, transit publications E-mail blast to Ontario Association of Seniors members Chinese Association newsletter Winter Warmth – only small number of referrals to Enhanced TAPS and no referrals to Weatherization program Note: Social service agency referrals program and alignment with LDC low income initiatives are key to results

18 Questions Cheryl Bezanson Program Manager, Enbridge Gas Distribution Phone: 416-495-6199 E-mail:

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