Can it pay to be green?

Managing your money and minimizing your environmental impact are both worthwhile goals, but it may be difficult to achieve them at the same time. However, there are ways to practising a sustainable lifestyle – both financially and environmentally.

Here are 3 areas where you can find ways to be green and save some green.

1. Your car

Hybrid and electric cars are becoming more popular, and prices are getting lower. In Ontario, the provincial government provides monetary incentives of up to $8,500 for buying a new hybrid or electric car, and you may even save on gas purchases – should you keep your car beyond its break-even period.

If a hybrid or electric car is not in your budgetBudget A monthly or yearly estimated plan for spending and saving. You work it out based on your income and expenses.+ read full definition, consider a fuel-efficient model – even vans and trucks are becoming more fuel-efficient. Check out Transport Canada’s Fuel Consumption Guide for more.

2. Your home

The Ontario government offers incentives for improving household energy efficiency and producing clean energy (for example, using solar panels). In some cases, you may save energy and money at the same time. These 3 programs can help improve your household energy efficiency

  1. Ontario Clean Energy Benefit
    As of January 1, 2012, you can earn a 10% rebate on your electricity bills for 5 years when you begin transitioning to cleaner energy.
  2. Ontario Power Authority saveONenergyOM Programs for Homes
    A range of opportunities to help manage energy use and costs throughout your home.
  3. Ontario Power Authority microFIT Program
    Eligible renewable electricity generation projects (10 kilowatts or less) receive a guaranteed payment for power delivered to Ontario’s electricity grid.

3. Your business

If you own, manage or work for a business with goals to improve environmental practices, there are programs available to support green enhancements. Take a look at these 4 programs for your business:

  1. Ontario Power Authority saveONenergyOM Programs for Business
    Offers cost and environmental benefits for businesses of all sizes.
  2. Directory of Energy Efficiency and Alternative Energy Programs in Canada
    Outlines a list of financial incentives for energy-related enhancements for businesses and individuals.
  3. The Canada Business Network
    Find multiple sources of funding for improving eco-efficiency and finding alternative energy solutions.

Fast fact

The on-peak rate for electricity in Ontario is 11.8 cents per kilowatt hour.

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