Canadian Province Ontario announced C$1bn investment in natural gas and in energy retrofits in residential apartments.

About C$100m ($76m) will be invested in cap and trade proceeds over four years to support the introduction of renewable natural gas.

Via the Climate Change Action Plan, which is due to be released this spring, the province will encourage the use of cleaner, renewable natural gas in industrial, transportation and buildings sectors.

The investment will help lower greenhouse gas emissions and help offset the cost to consumers of introducing renewable natural gas.

Ontario is creating a $200m Natural Gas Access Loan and $30m Natural Gas Economic Development Grant to help communities which lack the required infrastructure to turn to cheaper and cleaner source of fuel and to reduce their energy bills.

The province will also work with utilities to identify opportunities to inject hydrogen produced from renewable energy sources into the natural gas stream to further green it.

On the other hand, Ontario has also committed to invest C$900m ($689m) over four years in energy retrofits for social housing, private residential apartment buildings.

The plan is part of the Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan, under which the province will be investing up to C$500m ($382m) in retrofitting social housing apartments with energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies like energy-efficient windows, thermal insulation on plumbing and other mechanical systems.

This reduces emissions and can also improve residents’ comfort and save money for social housing providers in making other capital improvements.

Ontario will also be investing about C$400m ($306m) for enhancing energy efficiency in private residential apartment buildings under an incentive program that will provide rebates and grants for purchasing and installing energy efficient technologies such as boiler replacements and lighting retrofits.