Master Contractor Jim Caruk can build energy savings into any budget

See Jim's message on incentives for contractors, homeowners and more

TORONTO, Nov. 1, 2011 /CNW/ - When it comes to purchasing a home, the Toronto market is still reporting strong sales. The average price of a single family home in the GTA is a whopping $427,000; by 2015 it's expected to reach $525,0001. But not everyone is looking to move or purchase something new. Some homeowners simply want to renovate their living space. Just ask master contractor and Host of HGTV's upcoming series, "Builder Boss", Jim Caruk. Last year in Canada, 42 per cent of homeowners renovated their place of primary residence2.  Jim is participating in Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited's (Toronto Hydro) 'It's Easy to Conserve' campaign to explain how energy efficient renovations in his home have helped decrease his monthly electricity bill.

Toronto Hydro offers a number of incentive programs for contractors. People hiring contractors for home renovations are looking for energy efficient solutions as a means to be green and save money. When it comes to home renovations and conservation, "There are a lot of changes and a lot of trends at the energy savings end of it," says Jim. "As a contractor, we always encourage our homeowners to go for the rebates, especially on a renovation."

Watch Jim, part of Toronto Hydro's 'It's Easy to Conserve' campaign on, as he demonstrates the energy solutions that save him money on  his monthly electricity bill.

"It's about educating our customers so that they understand what programs are available," says Joe Bile, CDM Program Delivery and Business Development at Toronto Hydro. "More often than not, customers want to get involved in conservation programs, and we have something for everyone. The New Home Construction Program provides financial incentives to the hired contractor which ultimately provides benefits to the homeowner through more efficient equipment and infrastructure. "

In addition to using Time-of-Use (TOU) electricity rates and the TOU web portal at, residential customers and contractors can benefit by taking advantage of the following incentives:

The New Home Construction Program encourages Ontario contractors to include energy efficiency as part of their new builds and major renovations.  By including these energy efficiencies, the homeowner can experience savings year after year.  Some of the design features included in this program are:

  • All-off switches: This is a master power switch for your home. Selected outlets around your house - as well as everything plugged into them - are connected to, and controlled by this single on/off switch. When you leave your home you can switch off all connected lamps by flipping one switch!

  • Electronic Commutated Motor (ECM): All furnaces have a motor to circulate hot air throughout your house. ECMs are an efficient type of furnace motor that also helps you save electricity while getting the same level of home comfort from your furnace. 

  • Seasonal energy-efficiency Ratio 15 central air conditioners (SEER 15 CAC): SEER is a metric used to rate the efficiency of central air conditioners. SEER 15 designates a central air conditioner that has a higher efficiency rating than the average central air conditioner currently sold in the market. Homeowners who are replacing their heating and cooling systems as part of a major renovation, may qualify for a rebate up to $650 with our HEATING & COOLING INCENTIVES program.

  • ENERGY STAR® qualified light fixtures and other efficient lighting: The ENERGY STAR mark on lighting fixtures - regular fixtures, multi-lamp fixtures (e.g. chandeliers), pot lights, and T8 fluorescent fixtures, as well as other niche lighting fixtures - indicates superior energy efficiency.

  • Lighting control products: These products include dimmer switches for lights, lighting timers and indoor and outdoor motion sensors, all of which help contribute to an energy-efficient approach.

If you're not looking to overhaul your home, but looking for some easy, DIY ways to make your home more efficient, download valuable coupons for energy-saving products at

Other local personalities taking part in Toronto Hydro's new social media campaign include: the Chief of Toronto Police Services, Bill Blair, culinary superstar Brad Long, master contractor and television celebrity Jim Caruk, newly-elected MP for Scarborough Southwest Dan Harris, City of Toronto Councillor Shelley Carroll and eco-developer and Cleantech Advisor Tom Rand. Videos can be viewed online at

About Toronto Hydro

Toronto Hydro-Electric System owns and operates an electricity distribution system, which delivers electricity to approximately 705,000 customers located in the City of Toronto.  It is the largest municipal electricity distribution company in Canada and distributes approximately 19% of the electricity consumed in Ontario.

The information in these materials is based on information currently available to Toronto Hydro Corporation and its affiliates (together hereinafter referred to as "Toronto Hydro"), and is provided for information purposes only. Toronto Hydro does not warrant the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the information and undertakes no obligation to revise or update these materials. Toronto Hydro (including its directors, officers, employees, agents and subcontractors) hereby waives any and all liability for damages of whatever kind and nature which may occur or be suffered as a result of the use of these materials or reliance on the information therein.


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1 Toronto Real Estate Board (

2 Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (Renovation and Home Purchase Detailed Table Study)

SOURCE Toronto Hydro Corporation

For further information:

Jennifer Link

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