PUC Services Inc. (PUC) Customers may receive a phone call from PUC in the coming weeks. This call is part of an awareness campaign PUC is kicking off to spread the word about the Affordability Fund Program (AFT). This provincially funded program, launched in early 2018, helps Ontarians lower their electricity use, which will ultimately reduce their electricity costs.
“Anyone in Ontario who has an electricity account, whether they own or rent, can enroll in this program,” says Mark Britton, PUC Services, Conservation Officer. “The AFT program is designed specifically for people who do not qualify for low-income support programs, so even if you have a higher income, you’ll likely receive some energy-saving upgrades.”
The AFT program helps Ontarians lower their electricity use by decreasing energy consumption. This is accomplished by offering three different levels of support. The level of support customers can receive will depend on their net income and average energy bill. Each level provides different items that are designed to help consumers reduce their energy burden. For example:
Participants receive a Home Energy Kit with upgrades that you can easily install yourself. This may include ENERGY STAR® light bulbs, a power bar, a faucet aerator, along with energy-saving tips.
The equipment that can be offered at this level includes: Block heater timer, smart power bar, efficient showerheads, aerators, hot water pipe insulation and LED light bulbs.
Includes Level 1 kit plus an in-home visit from a professional Home Energy Advisor. The advisor examines your home appliances and based on their age and condition, offer free upgrades for qualifying appliances to new ENERGY STAR® appliances.
The equipment that can be offered at this level includes: Refrigerators, freezers, window air conditioners, dehumidifiers and programmable thermostats.
(For 100% electrically heated homes only.) Includes Level 1&2 items plus attic insulation or an ENERGY STAR® heat pump.
The equipment that can be offered at this level includes: Heat pumps, comprehensive draft proofing, and attic insulation.
“Customer might remember getting a similar call about the AFT program at the beginning of the year,” says Giordan Zin, Manager of Customer Engagement & Corporate Communications. “That was the first time we used a phone campaign to promote a program, and we had a tremendous uptake in participation – so much so that we want to try it again.” In fact, since the program’s launch in early 2018, PUC has 1,370 participants signed up for the AFT program; 445 participants received Level 1 kits, 667 participants qualified for appliance upgrades with Level 2, and 258 homes in the community have qualified for new attic insulation or a heat pump with Level 3.
“We hope to see these numbers continue to grow as more people become aware of this great program,” says Zin. “Currently, the program is expected to wrap up at the end of 2019, or whenever the funding runs out – whichever comes first. Which is why we are encouraging our customers to sign up now before the program expires.”
Customers interested in participating in the AFT program, can either apply online at www.affordabilityfund.org or by calling 1-855-494-FUND (3863). Customers who have not yet signed up for the program could start receiving their call from PUC regarding the AFT Campaign beginning as early as, Wednesday, May 15, 2019.