None of the below commentary is intended as legal advice. 

On February 23, 2009 the Ontario Liberal government released a draft of Bill-150 the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, 2009

The Act seeks to remove obstacles to renewable energy development in the province. Here are the key elements of the Act, most of which only provide the power to enact regulations – meaning the provisions don’t actually require anything, they just give the Minister power to enact regulations dealing with specific things:

  • Energy efficiency and consumption reports for residential home sales
  • Designated goods and services can be used despite any municipal by-law or other rule
  • Designated renewable energy projects can be undertaken depsite any municipal by-law or other rule
  • Public agencies required to establish energy management plan
  • Minister may enter into agreements or contracts to promote energy conservation and efficiency

The Act also sets out principles for the aquisition, operation, and management of government facilities:

   1. Clear and transparent reporting of energy use andof the amount of greenhouse gas emissions associ-ated with government facilities.

   2. Planning and designing government facilities toensure the efficient use of energy.

   3. Making environmentally and financially responsi-ble investments in government facilities.

   4. Using renewable energy sources to provide energyfor government facilities.

A Renewable Energy Facilitation Office is created along with a Renewable Energy Facilitation Officer. All this aimed at ensuring a more streamlined project develoment process. 

The last provisions of the Act itself are related to enforcement and penalties. Now some of this looks a bit much… like the power of an inspector to enter an office or unoccupied home, sans search warrant, to get anything related to an offer to sell/lease. 

The last part of the Bill amends a number of different pieces of legislation … some of which I hope to get into in later blogs. 

All in all, certainly a progressive document. Something that I think anyone looking to diversify our Province’s economy should welcome and support. Hope this summary helps… lets see what survives the debates and revisions.

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