United Way, Enbridge Gas Distribution and Toronto Hydro Team Up for 2006-2007 Winter Warmth Fund
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 1, 2006) - United Way of Greater Toronto, Enbridge Gas Distribution and Toronto Hydro today announced the 2006-2007 Winter Warmth Fund, providing financial assistance to low-income families and individuals struggling to pay their heating and hydro bills.

The fund was established in Toronto during the winter of 2004 and has expanded to include five utilities, local United Ways and community agencies throughout Ontario. The five utility companies - Enbridge Gas Distribution, Enersource Corporation, Hydro Ottawa, Toronto Hydro and Union Gas Limited - will combine efforts with United Way to coordinate the fund through over 45 community agencies across the province.

Funds for the annual program are contributed by the participating utility companies and are available to their eligible customers.

"Staying safe and warm during the winter s coldest months is a basic human need. Yet for many people, being able to afford heating their homes can be a struggle," said Frances Lankin, President and CEO, United Way of Greater Toronto. "Through the generosity of the utility companies and the participating community agencies, the Winter Warmth Fund will assist hundreds of families in Toronto this winter."

In 2005, the Winter Warmth Fund helped more than 1,300 households in Ontario, an increase of 30 per cent from the previous year.

"As a founding member, Enbridge is pleased to see the continued success and expansion of the Winter Warmth Fund across Ontario," said Al Monaco, President of Enbridge Gas Distribution. "Helping our customers with financial assistance on their natural gas bills is just one way that we continue to support the communities we serve."

"Toronto Hydro is proud to be a founding sponsor of the Winter Warmth Fund, an important community initiative to support customers struggling to pay their utility bills," said David O'Brien, President and Chief Executive Officer of Toronto Hydro Corporation. "Unfortunately, this program is necessary in our communities, and we thank United Way for coordinating our response to this need."

How the Fund Works

Families and individuals needing financial assistance to pay their heating and hydro bills can find information about the Winter Warmth Fund at their nearest community agency participating in the program. Enbridge Gas Distribution, Enersource Corporation, Hydro Ottawa, Toronto Hydro and Union Gas call centres will also advise customers about the fund, where applicable, and direct them to the appropriate agency.

After a successful application process, one-time funding will be credited directly to the applicant s utilities account.


Eligible grant recipients include low-income households who are in arrears or at risk of going into arrears on their energy bills and have exhausted all other sources of financial support.

In Toronto, customers can contact the following community agencies to determine funding eligibility and submit an application:

- Albion Housing Help Centre (Kipling Avenue/Albion Road): 416-741-1553

- COSTI Immigrant Services (Jane Street/ Wilson Avenue): 416-244-0480

- East York East Toronto Housing Help Centre (Main Street/Danforth Avenue): 416-698-9306

- Lakeshore Area Multiservice Project (Islington Avenue/Birmingham Street): 416-252-6471

- Neighbourhood Information Post (Gerrard Street/Parliament Street): 416-924-5491

- Scarborough Housing Help Centre (Kennedy Road/Lawrence Avenue East): 416-285-8070

- Woodgreen Community Centre (Queen Street/Broadview Avenue): 416-469-5211, ext. 2166

- York Community Services (Keele Street/Rogers Road): 416-653-5400

For 50 years, United Way of Greater Toronto has been working to create lasting change in the lives of Torontonians. Through research, partnerships with business, labour, government and volunteers, and by funding a network of 200 health and social service agencies, United Way identifies needs and takes action to support people and develop strong communities.

For more information please contact:

United Way of Greater Toronto
Joanna King or Caitlin Stidwell
(416) 777-1444, ext. 386 and 396


Enbridge Gas Distribution
Lisa McCarney
(416) 495-5662


Toronto Hydro
Tanya Bruckmeuller-Wilson
(416) 542-2621