Enbridge Gas Distribution: 'Winter Warmth Fund' to Provide Financial Assistance with Heating Bills Officially Launched
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 15, 2004) -

United Way, Enbridge Gas Distribution and Toronto Hydro join together to
help keep communities warm

United Way, Enbridge Gas Distribution and Toronto Hydro today officially
launched the Winter Warmth Fund. The fund provides financial assistance
to help low-income families and individuals struggling to meet all their
financial commitments, including their heating bills.

The fund was introduced as a pilot project by Enbridge Gas Distribution
and United Way of Greater Toronto during the winter of 2004. This year,
with the additional participation of a network of local United Ways and
community-based agencies (see list below), the Winter Warmth Fund has
expanded to reach Enbridge customers in other Ontario communities. In
addition, Toronto Hydro Corporation has contributed to this year's fund
to provide financial assistance to Toronto Hydro Electric System

"Enbridge and Toronto Hydro are strong United Way supporters and we're
pleased to partner with them on this initiative to help keep people warm
through the winter," said Frances Lankin, President and Chief Executive
Officer (CEO), United Way of Greater Toronto.

"I applaud the commitment of Enbridge, Toronto Hydro and the United Way
for participating in this worthwhile initiative," said Sandra Pupatello,
Minister of Community and Social Services. "It's great to see the
private sector supporting our government's commitment to helping
low-income families in times of need."

In 2005, the Winter Warmth Fund is expected to help approximately 850
households in Ontario.

"The fund will provide relief on heating bills, supporting families and
individuals struggling to make ends meet," said Jim Schultz, President,
Enbridge Gas Distribution. "We are pleased to work with United Way and
Toronto Hydro to help people in the communities we serve, and we hope to
expand the fund to include other hydro electric utilities in our
franchise in the future."

"This is a very important initiative," added David O'Brien, President
and CEO of Toronto Hydro Corporation.  "The Winter Warmth Fund serves as
an important bridge to help customers in need to get through the cold
winter months.  Toronto Hydro, Enbridge and United Way, working
together, will be able to provide relief to low income families this

How the Fund Works

Families and individuals needing financial assistance to pay their
Enbridge Gas Distribution charges or Toronto Hydro bill can apply for
assistance through their local United Way's lead agency for the
initiative, or through community-based intake agencies, where
information about the Winter Warmth Fund will be posted. Enbridge Gas
Distribution and Toronto Hydro call centres will also advise customers
about the fund, where applicable, and direct them to contact the
appropriate agency to see if they qualify.

Upon a successful application process, one-time funding will be credited
directly to applicants' Enbridge Gas Distribution or Toronto Hydro


Eligible grant recipients include households living below or near the
poverty line who are in arrears or at risk of going into arrears on
their Enbridge Gas Distribution natural gas bills or Toronto Hydro
bills, and have exhausted all other sources of financial support.

In Toronto, people can contact Neighbourhood Information Post at
416-924-2543 to determine eligibility.


Outside of Toronto, please contact the following regional agencies for
information on program availability:

Community Development Council Durham
(905) 686-2661

Barrie and Greater Simcoe County
Simcoe County Alliance to End Homelessness/United Way
(705) 726-2301

City of the Kawartha Lakes
A Place Called Home
(705) 328-0905

Niagara Falls and Greater Fort Erie
Project S.H.A.R.E.
(905) 357-5121

Community Development Council Durham
(905) 686-2661

The Salvation Army Ottawa Booth Centre

Peel Region
Caledon Community Services
(905) 584-9460

Peterborough & District
Community Counselling/Housing Resource Centre
(705) 743-9122

St. Catharines & District
Community Care of St. Catharines and Thorold
(905) 685-1349

Neighbourhood Information Post
(416) 924-2543

Community Resource and Action Centre
(905) 788-0744

York Region
Canadian Mental Health Association - York Region
(905) 841-3977
1-866-345-0224 (Toll-Free)



For more information please contact:

Enbridge Gas Distribution
Lisa McCarney
(416) 495-5662


United Way of Greater Toronto
Brian Hatchell
(416) 777-1444 ext. 386


Toronto Hydro
Stephen Andrews
(416) 542-2670


Advance Planning/MS&L
Dorenda McNeil
(416) 847-1303