The proposed Bill, the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, 2009, if enacted, would enact the Green Energy Act, 2009, and amend and repeal various Acts.
If passed, the Green Energy Act (GEA), along with significant amendments to 15 other statutes, such as the Electricity Act, the Environmental Protection Act and the Planning Act, would set Ontario on a course to a greener future. Following passage of the legislation, additional regulatory and policy decisions would also be required as the government moved forward with its vision for a greener economy and a culture of conservation.
The proposed GEA, and the expected regulatory changes and policies that would flow from it, include a range of measures. Among the most notable elements are:
1. Creating a new attractive feed-in tariff regime – a pricing system for renewable energy – that will guarantee rates and help spark new investment in renewable energy generation, increase investor confidence and access to financing.
2. Establishing the “right to connect” to the electricity grid for renewable projects.
3. Establishing a streamlined approvals process, including providing service guarantees for renewable energy projects and a Renewable Energy Facilitator.
Culture of Conservation
1. North American leading energy efficiency standards (Energy Star) for household appliances, including efficient use of water.
2. Mandatory home energy audits prior to sale of homes.
3. Making energy efficiency a central tenet of Ontario’s Building Code.
4. Green Ontario government and broader public sector buildings; including the development of conservation plans.
If passed, the GEA would create an estimated 50,000 jobs in its first three years. The economic benefits would be spread across the province through local involvement in energy production, and opportunities for First Nations and Métis communities.