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February 01, 2009

Ontario Government Introduces the Green Energy Act

On February 23, the Ontario Government tabled for First Reading its omnibus Bill 150, the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, 2009, which is intended to both ease the birth pangs of renewable energy projects and promote energy conservation among Ontarians. While the threat of local NIMBY opposition delaying or even derailing green energy projects may have prompted the move, the 75-page Bill goes far beyond curtailing the ability of local councils to hold up investments in renewable energy. The ambitious Bill is designed to spark growth in clean and renewable sources of energy, AND to promote conservation of energy and water, AND to facilitate creation of a “smart grid” for Ontario. The Government anticipates that the Act will create 50,000 new, green jobs in the first three years following proclamation.

There are more carrots than sticks in the Bill. There are relatively modest penalties – ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 – for not providing energy conservation information to potential buyers/renters, or for failing to comply with the energy and water conservation requirements for prescribed appliances. These penalties will also extend to directors and officers, whether or not the corporate entity has been charged or convicted.

To view the remainder of this document and attached Table 1: Provisions to Support Renewables and Promote Conservation and Table 2: Subsequent Amendments to Other Statutes please click here.