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Kingston Hydro Home Assistance Program Reduces Social Housing Energy Costs

November 8, 2013 -

More than 300 Kingston-based social housing tenants have benefited from free in-home energy assessments and nearly $200,000 in electricity saving installations through the free Kingston Hydro saveONenergy Home Assistance Program.

In some cases, social housing organizations pay the electricity bill, while in other cases, it's the tenants. Program participants can expect to save an average of 10 per cent on their electricity bills.

Jim Keech, President and CEO for Utilities Kingston and Kingston Hydro, says, "Addressing the need for affordable housing is a top priority for the City of Kingston. We're pleased to contribute to this goal by helping to make housing more efficient and comfortable to live in."

Though the majority of these free in-home assessments and installations took place at social housing units, the Home Assistance Program is available to any homeowner or tenant who is income qualified, lives in an eligible building, and pays the electricity bill for the residence.

In 2013, the Kingston Hydro Home Assistance Program provided the following energy saving measures to social housing tenants:

  • 2,503 ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs installed. Bright and warm, CFL bulbs use about 75 per cent less electricity than incandescent bulbs, and last up to 10 times longer.
  • 10 power bars with a timer or auto-shut-off provided to make sure electronics are off during periods of inactivity.
  • Pipe insulation for 105 electric water heaters.
  • 12 low flow showerheads and 15 aerators to reduce the flow of electrically heated tap water by 40 to 60 per cent. 
  • 104 new ENERGY STAR appliances, including refrigerators, freezers, window air conditioners and dehumidifiers.

In addition to making homes and businesses more efficient and comfortable, energy saving measures are important to utilities as they help manage the costs of providing responsible utility services.

"Conservation practices reduce energy use during peak demand times, prolonging the life of utility infrastructure and delaying the need for expensive upgrades," says Stephen Sottile, Conservation Officer for Utilities Kingston and Kingston Hydro.

Sheldon Laidman, Director of Housing, says that feedback from City tenants on the Programs has been overwhelmingly positive. "They're telling us that the home energy auditors were friendly and informative and the installations were quickly and professionally completed. Plus, tenants received valuable education on adopting new conservation behaviours. I'd definitely recommend this program to others."

To learn if you—or a homeowner or tenant you know—qualify for the Kingston Hydro HOME ASSISTANCE program, visit www.kingstonhydro.saveonenergy.ca/homeassistance or call Kingston Hydro's Home Assistance Program intake hotline at 613-893-4271.

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Media contact: For more information contact Cindie Ashton, Communications Officer for Kingston Hydro at 613-546-4291, extension 3116.