Mayor, Fletcher unveil new solar energy option for Torontonians

City helps residents tap the sun for hot water

Residents of Toronto’s Ward 30 (Toronto-Danforth) will be leading the way in using the sun for home water heating thanks to a new program announced today by Toronto Mayor David Miller and Councillor Paula Fletcher.

The Solar Neighbourhoods program is providing additional financial incentives, technical assistance and support for residents who install Solar Domestic Hot Water systems (SDHW) for their homes. Combined with recently enriched federal-provincial "ecoENERGY" incentives, the program makes solar water systems a very attractive choice for homeowners looking to reduce utility bills and their environmental impact.

"Torontonians are eager to help in the fight against climate change," says Mayor Miller. "Using the warmth of the sun to heat water for our homes is another way we are building on this leadership and helping our citizens live green. By making these kinds of renewable energy technologies easy for City residents to access, we can continue to be a world leader."

"Solar Neighbourhoods is making solar hot water feasible for average homeowners by pre-qualifying suppliers and systems, working with City divisions to streamline the installation permit process, and by making it affordable with incentives and zero interest financing for interested homeowners in Ward 30," explains Julia Langer, executive director of the Toronto Atmospheric Fund, which has led the development of this initiative.

According to Mayor Miller, "The work that has gone into developing the Solar Neighbourhoods program will make it easier for all Torontonians to tap the clean energy of the sun. Now, Bullfrog Power, together with Enbridge Gas Distribution and EnerWorks, have teamed up to offer their own Solar Water Heating Program. This recently launched initiative offers homeowners across Toronto significant savings on the purchase and installation of a solar water heater."

"We are very pleased to offer savings and incentives under our own Solar Water Heating Program to qualifying homeowners not just in Ward 30 but citywide, along with in a number of other communities throughout Ontario," says Tom Heintzman, President, Bullfrog Power. "Solar water heating, in addition to purchasing renewable electricity, is an effective way homeowners can reduce their environmental impact. The discounts available under this new program make it easier for homeowners to access this technology."

"The many organizations involved in the Solar Neighbourhoods and Solar Water Heating Program initiatives are drawn together by our shared commitment to a clean energy economy," says Arunas Pleckaitis, Vice President, Enbridge Gas Distribution. "Bringing together our unique strengths and competencies allows us to provide integrated, high-value solar water heating solutions that homeowners will find attractive."

"Solar water heating is well suited for use in Toronto," points out Rob McMonagle, Senior Energy Consultant with the Toronto Energy Efficiency Office. "We have better solar conditions than Germany, the world leader in the use of solar hot water systems, and we get more summer sunshine than Miami."

"Local residents have really been at the forefront of this effort to tap the clean energy of the sun," says Councillor Paula Fletcher (Ward 30 Toronto-Danforth). "The city’s first solar buying club started in Riverdale and that movement has spread across the city. Now the Solar Neighbourhoods program is taking it to the next level. I can’t wait to see solar systems going up on roofs across my ward - and across the city."

Solar Neighbourhoods is a program of the Toronto Atmospheric Fund in partnership with the Toronto Energy Efficiency Office, and supported by the Toronto Environment Office and Toronto Hydro.

For more information about this program, visit or the Live Green Toronto website,Toronto's one-stop resource for living friendly.

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