The Ontario Government unveiled its proposed Green Energy Act ("GEA") this week, amidst much fanfare. According to the Ministry’s News Release, the GEA should attract new investment, create new green economy jobs and better protect the climate.
While big on hype but short on specific details, the two main thrusts of the proposed GEA are described by the Ministry as:
- making it easier to bring renewable energy projects to life, and
- fostering a culture of conservation by assisting homeowners, government, schools and industrial employers to transition to lower energy use.
The idea of condominium corporations generating electricity from solar or wind power for their own use and selling the surplus is an interesting concept that may not be too far off. Given the right incentives, any condo board would closely consider whatever green energy options may be available.
One area of concern is the type of projects that unit owners may undertake on their own, especially if those projects affect other units, the common elements or life safety. As with the regulation enacted last summer that permits the use of clotheslines and clothestrees where otherwise restricted, the proposed GEA will permit certain renewable energy projects to be undertaken notwithstanding restrictions imposed by municipal by-laws and condominium by-laws. While it appears that section 117 of the Condominium Act ("no dangerous activities") will continue to prevail, we will be watching closely to see what comes of this.
For information on what steps you or your condominium corporation can take to save energy today, see The Ontario Energy Efficiency Resource Guide, which provides information about the many programs, financial incentives, and resources available to help Ontarians conserve energy and achieve greater energy efficiency. View and download a PDF copy of the Guide here.
If your condo is currently planning or implementing a renewable energy project, post a comment and share the details.