GreenSaver pilots social agency intake form
GreenSaver is working with Neighbourhood Information Post and the Daily Bread Food Bank to pilot a new approach for social agencies to quickly and easily pre-screen potential Home Assistance Program (HAP) applicants. By using a simple online form, referred to as a Social Agency Intake Form, intake workers can determine whether their clients are eligible for HAP and thus refer them to help them save money on their hydro bills.
Neighbourhood Information Post is a non-profit community resource centre located in downtown Toronto. It provides programs and services to help increase the quality of life of socially marginalized Torontonians. It also ran the first Rent Bank Program in Canada which provides interest-free repayable loans to low-income households facing eviction due to short-term financial difficulties.
The Daily Bread Food Bank is a local Toronto charity working towards eradicating hunger in the city. It runs a number of programs to achieve this goal, and last year provided 716,000 visits to member food bank, shelters, hostels, and neighbourhood meal programs.
“The form itself is very user-friendly” says Brianna Greaves, Information & Referral Services Coordinator for the Daily Bread Food Bank, who has been using the Social Agency Intake Form with her volunteers since mid-January.
The Social Agency Intake Form takes approximately 30 seconds for intake workers to complete per client. The 10 questions focus on income eligibility and housing eligibility to generate high potential leads. The forms of eligible clients are automatically sent to GreenSaver and our Client Support team then follow to help them fill out a HAP application form.
The success of this pilot will be evaluated and monitored over the coming months. It is hoped that the pilot can be expanded to many other social agencies across Ontario.
GreenSaver selected to deliver Enbridge’s Home Winterproofing Program
GreenSaver is happy to announce that we have been selected to deliver the Home Winterproofing Program for Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc. in the areas of Niagara and Simcoe. GreenSaver currently manages the program in Toronto, York Region, Peel Region, and the Town of Orangeville, and we are delighted to expand our service area.
Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc. owns and operates Canada’s largest natural gas distribution network, delivering safe, clean and affordable natural gas to over 2.0 million residential, commercial and industrial customers across Ontario. The Home Winterproofing provides income-eligible Enbridge customers with free insulation, draft proofing and water saving measures, helping them to reduce energy consumption and cost.
GreenSaver has been delivering the Home Winterproofing Program for Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc. since 2010. A key component of our successful delivery is that it’s truly turnkey: we have in-house staff who handle every facet of program management, including customer service, field auditing and installation, modeling, QA/QC and program reporting. If you are interested in learning more about the program, please click here: www.greensaver.org/enbridge.
GreenSaver selected to deliver HAP for Toronto Hydro and Oakville Hydro
GreenSaver is pleased to announce that we were selected to deliver the Save on Energy Home Assistance Program (HAP) for Toronto Hydro and Oakville Hydro for the Conservation First Framework 2015 – 2020. Toronto Hydro is the largest municipal LDC in Canada, providing 18% of the electricity produced in Ontario to approximately 740,000 customers in the city of Toronto. Oakville Hydro is the province’s 13th largest LDC, covering 69,000 customers in the city of Oakville.
GreenSaver was the incumbent delivery agent for both utilities, having delivered HAP in the previous Conservation Framework 2011-2014, and we have consistently exceeded their energy savings targets. Toronto Hydro and Oakville Hydro chose GreenSaver to continue delivering HAP, which provides free energy efficiency upgrades to income-eligible Ontarians like LED bulbs and Energy Star® appliances.
We are happy to continue delivering this important program to these two GTA utilities.
Hydro One chooses GreenSaver to run the Home Assistance program
Last year, GreenSaver was selected to deliver the Home Assistance Program (HAP) for Hydro One Networks Inc. Hydro One is Ontario’s largest electricity transmission and distribution company, serving 1.3 million customers across 75% of the province. It transmits electricity through a vast network of 29,000km transmission lines serviced by a fleet of over 7,500 vehicles. HAP provides income-qualified Ontarians with free energy-efficiency upgrades to help them manage their energy use more efficiently. GreenSaver manages the program from start to finish; conducting an in-home energy assessment to determine eligible efficiency measures and directly installing new upgrades.
GreenSaver has successfully delivered HAP for Hydro One since 2011, and effectively demonstrated an ability to continue delivering across all Hydro One territory during the new 2015 – 2020 Conservation First Framework.
Hydro One chose to work with GreenSaver because we have built a broad capacity across Ontario to deliver turnkey energy conservation programs, in particular the Home Assistance Program. Through delivery we will be able to help thousands of low-income Ontarians reduce their energy consumption and electric bills. As an organization, Hydro One faces unique challenges due to its vast coverage area and remote nature of many of its communities, and GreenSaver has demonstrated itself as more than capable of overcoming these challenges in an effective manner.
GreenSaver looks forward to a continued positive relationship with Hydro One and their customers across Ontario.
GreenSaver selected for ECM pilot
GreenSaver has been selected to deliver a pilot project for Horizon Utilities Corporation, with supporting participation of Toronto Hydro and Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro. This pilot will test various sales points and incentive levels required to encourage electrically commutated motor (ECM) retrofits as upgrades for conventional fans on existing home furnaces.
Typically, home furnaces in Ontario use gas for heating. However, the fan motor that blows the forced air through the furnace and throughout the home is electrically powered. This motor is one of the most energy-intensive pieces of equipment in the home, and switching to an ECM motor can save substantial amounts of energy for homeowners.
There are two main objectives of the pilot. The first is to measure the untapped market for ECM replacements and retrofits. The second is to test market reaction for an upstream or midstream incentive model, which is as of yet unknown in the residential sector for Ontario utilities. Since the majority of Ontario’s population of single family dwellings have central heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, the pilot could easily be scaled up to other LDCs across the province if necessary.
GreenSaver was heavily involved in program conception and design, and is uniquely qualified to deliver this innovative residential pilot to three separate Ontario LDCs simultaneously. The pilot is in market until June 30, 2017 and we anticipate great results for our LDC partners.
GreenSaver presents Alastair Fairweather memorial award to U of T School of the Environment student
President and CEO of GreenSaver Vladan Veljovic presented the Alastair Fairweather memorial award to Rafael Bong, Juris Doctor student, Faculty of Law and School of the Environment’s Collaborative Program in Environmental Studies. The award was presented at U of T’s 2016 Research day on April 20th, 2016 and was based on academic merit and financial need, as well as excellence in research in environmental studies or environment and health and contributions to the work of the School of the Environment.
Bong’s research analyzes the changes in the weather risk market with the onset of increasing anomalous weather patterns, with the goal of determining how can a particular market instrument of derivatives, especially ones that hedge on weather anomalies and risks, can address environmental problems.
Bong was later welcomed at the GreenSaver offices where he presented his paper to staff who are always eager to learn about environmental issues. The presenation was a great exchange of knowledge and a great learning experience for all.
Hydro Hawkesbury Inc., Coopérative Hydro Embrun Inc. and Hydro 2000 Inc. choose GreenSaver to manage their conservation portfolios
As Ontario Local Distribution Companies (LDC) and electricity utilities consider their options for providing energy conservation demand management (CDM) programs, required under the new 2015-2020 provincial energy conservation framework, four utilities (E.L.K. Energy Inc., Hydro Hawkesbury Inc., Cooperative Hydro Embrun Inc. and Hydro 2000 Inc.) have already selected GreenSaver to deliver the full suite of required provincial programs and provide their complete CDM needs.
In fact, Mark Danelon, Director of Finance and Regulatory Affairs, E.L.K. Energy, observed “Our priorities are helping as many of our customers as possible while also meeting our energy conservation targets. GreenSaver is a great fit for both goals: with nearly 25 years non-profit experience in conservation, they will minimize risk with our CDM portfolio while providing our customers with incentives to save energy.”
Michel Poulin, General Manager of Hydro Hawkesbury added “With a proven CDM track record, GreenSaver will help our customers understand what incentives are available to them. They’ve got the experience and the capacity to efficiently deliver our conservation CDM portfolio and we like the idea of partnering with a non-profit.”
GreenSaver President and CEO Vladan Veljovic stated, “GreenSaver is thrilled with this vote of support from the LDCs. We are excited to be delivering a complete package of LDC industrial, commercial residential and low income CDM programs across the province. This integrated approach provides superior customer service in local communities across Ontario, and maximizes value to ratepayers and the LDCs.”
E.L.K. Energy Inc chooses GreenSaver to manage its conservation portfolio
E.L.K. Energy Inc, an electric utility in Southwestern Ontario, has contracted GreenSaver to deliver its entire portfolio of conservation programs, for both its residential and non-residential customers. In doing so, GreenSaver will be managing customer service for conservation, providing regulatory conservation reporting, and handling the duties of the utility in post-project verification. In strategically managing program delivery, GreenSaver will help E.L.K. Energy meet its energy savings goal set forth in the Independent Electricity System Operator’s Conservation First Framework 2015-2020.
This portfolio management marks a broadening of the services which GreenSaver has been providing to Ontario utilities for over 20 years. Our goal is to take the risk out of E.L.K. Energy’s CDM Plan for the next five years. We have allocated resources to every facet of their portfolio management, delivering much better value for E.L.K. Energy’s conservation budget.
Ministerial Directive Regarding HAP Low Income Programs
As you may be aware, the current HAP Low Income programs are coming to an end in 2014. Last month, in a significant gesture, Minister Chiarelli issued a directive regarding the implementation of new successor programs, and also confirmed the commitment to the continuity of the programs.
In layman’s terms, the Minister instructed that until the new programs are ready to be implemented through the OPA and LDCs, the existing programs must remain in operation. This is a significant move as historically the biggest obstacle to developing successful Low Income Conservation programs have been the short term funding commitments and the delays in between different programs.
With this decision, which GreenSaver welcomes, all the stakeholders have a much clearer outlook and are in a much better position to provide meaningful conservation programs to the low income communities across Ontario.
GreenSaver’s Home Energy Efficiency Workshop
GreenSaver, on behalf of Toronto Hydro, has developed a series of home energy efficiency and conservation workshops. These workshops are presented in various libraries and community centres across the city.
The two hour workshop provides homeowners and renters with the opportunity to learn about home energy use, energy-efficiency opportunities and priorities, and considerations for implementation of DIY and professionally installed energy efficiency measures.
ENERGY STAR for New Homes to be Recognized as Proof of EGH 83 under RNC Program
Several builders have submitted preliminary applications to the OPA’s Residential New Construction program applying for a $500 rebate for achieving a performance level of energy conservation proven by attaining an EnerGuide for New Homes (EGH) 83 rating. However, they did so with the understanding that EGH 83 is the backbone achievement level upon which ENERGY STAR® 12.1 is based, and hoping that ENERGY STAR® would thus be recognized as equivalent to EGH 83. The OPA has expressed a clear indication that this would be recognized as such.
Many builders strongly promote ENERGY STAR® in the marketplace, and it’s not only the most popular above code energy label in Canada, but it is one of the only ones geared to the needs of large scale production building.
There are virtually no builders using the EnerGuide rating system to sell homes in Ontario, because there is no market recognition of the value of this label.
To be clear, by getting an ENERGY STAR® certification, builders have already met the energy requirements of EGH 83, and could produce the additional rating label. However, since ENERGY STAR® has the desired market recognition and sales traction, builders have requested that the OPA should recognize ENERGY STAR® 12.1 home rating as equivalent to EGH 83 and fund their achievement.
The good news is that the OPA and the many LDCs who have significant new housing starts (such as Oakville and Horizon) have heard the builder’s request to ailing the proof of performance savings with the market realities and are in the process of recognizing ENERGY STAR® certification as equivalent proof of EGH 83 performance levels.
This sort of fine tuning to the marketplace is essential to program success, and worthy of celebration in this newsletter. For GreenSaver, this means we are back on track to get 5,000 homes in the program this year, with over 3,000 signed up to date.
GreenSaver Branching Out to New Programs and New Applicants
GreenSaver has been in business for 22 years and we have been delivering conservation programs to consumers right from the beginning. While we love the residential, low income, and niche market sectors (like community funded initiatives or faith-based group programs), we know that the commercial and industrial (C&I) sector is where the biggest conservation results can be realized.
So we are very pleased to announce that we are now working with Enersource Mississauga Hydro to promote application development to C&I customers in that service area. There are four programs that service this sector: The High Performance New Construction Program which is focused on new C&I building construction, the Demand Response (DR3) load shifting program is for larger use clients who can shift their usage, and the PSUI Engineering Studies provide free energy audits to larger energy users, so they are somewhat selective in who can apply. However, the Equipment Replacement Incentive Initiative (ERII) is open to almost every commercial and industrial client. It includes a social housing adder that bumps high-rise social housing retrofit project up to a 50% rebate of the overall project cost.
All electric utilities face similar challenges in this sector; there are in-house resources to deal one-to-one with the very large clients, and a program to provide free lighting to the very small. It’s the vast medium-sized group of clients that are the toughest to reach and support. To manage this, Greensaver will be employing a strategy that involves bringing the “key account experience” to smaller account customers (less than 500 KW). To do this we will use a multi-media outreach strategy, with knowledgeable sales and support follow up.
Further updates on this new venture will follow, but if you are a Mississauga business, including hi-rise social housing providers, who could benefit from lower utility bills, give us a call at 416-203-3106 and ask for our Enersource Key Account Rep.
GreenSaver Audits 10,000th Home for HAP
GreenSaver is proud of these numbers and appreciative of the efforts of our staff, subcontractors, and LDC partners; in addition, we are very thankful for all of the help we have received from social organizations, social workers, case workers, social agencies, food banks, seniors organizations, social housing providers and all of you who read this newsletter. So from all of us at GreenSaver we want to thank you and congratulate you for making a difference. Please keep up the great work, as there are many more people we can help!Last month GreenSaver surpassed a milestone of some significance for the Home Assistance program. Our staff and subcontract partners have now audited and performed installations on over 10,000 homes. Since there are at least a half dozen other service providers delivering this program on behalf of other LDCs, it’s becoming quite clear that HAP is now one of the more successful saveONenergy programs with these participation numbers.
HAP in context: the other programs that make up the conservation landscape
There are many conservation programs in the market place, not only those created by the OPA for electric utilities, but also those created by the gas utilities, and other groups. In the past, one of the bigger challenges a potential applicant would face is finding out about all the programs that are available to them.
For HAP applicants there are associated income eligible programs through three natural gas utilities. The most seamlessly integrated with HAP is the gas hot water conservation program from Kitchener Utilities which replicates the HAP hot water measures for gas hot water homes. Thus, GreenSaver staff are able to give every home in the area hot water measures, regardless of heat source. The other Gas utilities also have low income programs that use the same eligibility as HAP and other similar weatherization upgrades. Enbridge has its Home Weatherization program which offers income qualified home owners free insulation upgrades for poorly insulated homes, and GreenSaver also delivers this in the GTA.
Peaksaver and the coupon program offer consumers small rewards for small changes. There are also commercial rebate programs that can significantly benefit social housing providers. And, whereas HAP only deals with buildings three stories and lower, the ERII program supports all building types and has a social housing adder that offers a 50% rebate on the cost of upgrades, and up to 50% of that rebate upfront to help with cash flow. GreenSaver promotes this program to social housing providers that have buildings that are four-stories and above buildings in their portfolio.
A growing program that GreenSaver is actively promoting to the building sector, is the Residential New Construction (RNC) program. Initially it was something of a bureaucratic challenge, but the EDA caucus and the OPA re-vamped the process to be more tailored to builders’ needs. With the recent changes to the building code and ENERGY STAR program, RNC is now nicely situated to grow, as more builders start to build to these new specifications.
Over the next few issues we will be broadening the scope of this newsletter to also discuss other programs and conservation activities, such as these.
If you want to know more about any of these programs seewww.powerauthority.on.ca or call your local electric or gas utility or email [email protected]
HAP Keeps Growing
This month we are pleased to announce that E.L.K Energy Inc. has contracted with GreenSaver to deliver HAP in its service area near southern Ontario. A quick fact about E.L.K: it was incorporated in 2000, as the successor to the Hydro-Electric Commission for the Town of Essex, Lakeshore Hydro and Kingsville Hydro.
GreenSaver Services 5,000th HAP Participant
Around about the 17th of March, GreenSaver and all our utility partners, quietly surpassed a milestone for the Home Assistance program as auditors visited the 5,000th home to receive program upgrades through GreenSaver. While this is a somewhat artificial milestone because there are several other program delivery agents in the province (representing as much as 30% of the population), it does give a sense of the magnitude of activity out there. Perhaps more importantly, it shows the way the program is ramping up as it matures and more people know about the opportunity and apply. GreenSaver is delivering 500-600 installs a month now and ramping up to service 1,000 people per month later this year, meaning we may surpass the 10,000 mark this year as well.
A lot of things have to go right for that to happen, and while our focus is on each customer and the quality of their experience (rather than on overall numbers) we are convinced that 2013 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for HAP, for all those electric utilities who deliver the program and its many recipients!
HAP Keeps Growing
This month we are pleased to announce that three new utilities have contracted with GreenSaver to deliver the Home Assistance program: Atikoken Hydro, Fort Frances Power, and Sioux Lookout Hydro. Along with Kenora Hydro, who signed with us earlier this year, these four Utilities work closely with Thunder Bay Hydro forming a northwest hub for the delivery of conservation programs.
HAP Keeps Growing
This month we are pleased to announce that Hydro 2000, a smaller LDC near the Quebec boarder with a largely francophone customer base, and Co-Operative Hydro Embrun, another smaller LDC near Ottawa, have contracted with GreenSaver to deliver HAP in their service areas. GreenSaver welcomes them and thanks Util-assist for referring these LDCs to us.
Greater Sudbury Hydro Promotes HAP on TV
The next time you are watching a CTV favorite like Survivor, the Amazing Race, or maybe even The Mentalist, if you live in the Greater Sudbury area, you might just see an ad for the Home Assistance program. Greater Sudbury Hydro Inc. (GHSI) has just launched its new HAP TV advertisement.
At 30 seconds long, the ad is the first in the province to promote the Home Assistance program. Even the OPA has not done any television ads for it. GSHI has done this before with other conservation programs, and recently launched the pun-filled Waste Not, Watt Not™ campaign in a similar manner.
Paula Tarini, CDM Supervisor at GSHI, did not try to soft peddle the fact that the Home Assistance program offers free upgrades to customers, she attacked it head on. “We need to reach out to those people who need help. While there may be some customers who call in that do not meet the qualification criteria, the outreach promotes conservation and that could ultimately save money,” she noted. “This is, without any doubt, a ‘Good News’ story, and the offering is no different than any of our other programs that provide benefits to particular customer segments, so I want everyone who is potentially eligible to hear about it and give this program a call,” she further explained.
The professional ad was created by Brickworks Communications on a modest budget, yet they still achieved a well produced, simple, and positive message that does not bog down in program details. Now the only question that remains is will it generate calls and applications. To date, we have seen radio, bus shelters, newsprint, web, and bill board mass media advertising for HAP, and the response rate has certainly varied widely depending on messaging and media used.
This is a first for TV and we hope it will generate significant numbers for newly launched program in the Sudbury area. Click below to see the ad.
HAP Keeps Growing
This month we are pleased to announce that Westario Power, Kenora Hydro, and Greater Sudbury Hydro have now retained GreenSaver to deliver the Home Assistance program is their service areas.
HAP Keeps Growing
This month we are pleased to announce that Thunder Bay Hydro and Hydro One Brampton have now retained GreenSaver to deliver the Home Assistance program is their service areas. GreenSaver is delivering this program to almost 70% of the total residential customers in Ontario – that’s a big responsibility and we take it very seriously. Thank you to all our LDC partners.
Home Assistance Program LEAPs forward
LEAP, which stands for Low-income Energy Assistance Program, delivers emergency assistance under various program names as each electrical utility has a version of the program to help low income customers who are unable to pay their electrical bills. This is one-time only (at least in any given 12 months) direct payment to cover outstanding electricity bills. The grant is capped at $500, and is positioned as a reactive measure to help those in immediate need.
The Home Assistance Program (HAP) is a new arm of LEAP aimed at longer term solutions for energy poverty. Anyone who has received an emergency assistance grant in the last 12 months is automatically eligible for HAP (although there are some restrictions based on building size and bulk metering that make this overlap less than total).
GreenSaver has been very active in working with LDCs to reach out to past LEAP recipients and inform them about their options to enrol in HAP. It’s a simple application progress, as no income proof is required from the applicant (proof comes from the electric utility’s records), so application is one-step. Even signatures can be gained at the time of the audit, so that appointments can be scheduled on the first call, whereas with other application streams two or three calls and interaction via fax, scans, or post may be necessary.
LEAP emergency assistance recipients now make up almost 16% of all applications GreenSaver has processed, and it is 3rd only behind “Social Housing” and “Proof of Income” as the most frequent way applicants qualify for the program.
LDC HAP Vignettes
With more that 50% of Ontario electric utilities now offering the Home Assistance program in their jurisdictions, HAP is truly a province-wide program. GreenSaver is now establishing service hubs in Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay, and Sudbury to service the northern parts of the province, and partnerships in Eastern Ontario to Algonquin park. The program has been in selected markets for one year, but as of this month is truly province-wide.
Brant County Power broke new ground this month with the first Home Assistance program bill board, in downtown Paris, Ontario. Variations of this sort of public mass market advertizing have been tried by other LDCs, with no real push back from those who do not qualify.
Brantford Power is employing the resources of a team of co-op students to go door-to-door to sign up over 1000 social housing units, where the property managers have signed on to participate in HAP. Residents were first mailed letters letting them know the students were coming. The campaign is the largest and most aggressive direct engagement HAP social housing effort to-date.
Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro and GreenSaver have finalized the partnership with Kitchener Utilities to delivery an integrated multi-fuel low income benefits in Kitchener. Using GreenSaver’s auditor partners from REEP Green Solutions, applicants to HAP in Kitchener will all receive extended water conservation measures, even if their hot water is heated by natural gas. To applicants, the program seems like one unified multi-fuel program, but behind the scenes the various program efforts are all coordinated through a single delivery agent. This is a model that the OEB might want to look at for 2015.
Welland Hydro Breaking New Ground
The Home Assistance Program* is funded by the Ontario Power Authority and administered by each electrical utility in their individual service areas. In September of 2011 Welland Hydro and Niagara Peninsula Energy contracted with GreenSaver and were the first utilities to launch the Home Assistance Program* in Ontario. Being first has meant that Welland Hydro took on the ground breaking work to raise awareness of the program.
Subsequently, Welland Hydro formed outreach partnerships with the local Ontario Disability Support Program and Ontario Works, and even traded reusable grocery bags with food banks, asking them to share the news about this great new program.