Aiming for 100,000 solar roofs



    McGuinty Government Asks Task Force to Focus on Green Target

    QUEEN'S PARK, Feb. 15 /CNW/ - A new task force will help Ontario meet its
target of 100,000 solar systems installed in households across the province.
    Premier Dalton McGuinty announced last June that Ontario was setting a
target of 100,000 installed solar systems, as part of the government's "Go
Green" climate change strategy.
    Most Ontario households spend about 20 per cent of their overall energy
budget on water heating - that's second only to space heating.
    By supplementing existing electric or gas water heaters, solar thermal
systems can dramatically reduce these costs. For example, each year a solar
thermal system can save:

    
    -   $325 and 600 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions for a typical
        family of four with an electric water heater
    -   $200 and 760 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions for a typical
        family of four with a gas water heater

    By comparison, an average-sized car generates about one tonne of
greenhouse gas emissions a year.

    The Solar Task Force members named today are:

    -   Elizabeth McDonald  Executive Director, Canadian Solar Industries
                            Association

    -   Brian Rosborough    Director of Policy, Association of Municipalities
                            of Ontario

    -   Rob McMonagle       Senior Energy Consultant, Energy Efficiency
                            Office, City of Toronto

    -   Larry Brydon        Senior Account Executive, Reliance Home Comfort
    

    "Residential solar thermal systems can cut household water heating costs
by half or more and can play an important role in helping Ontario go green,"
said Energy Minister Gerry Phillips. "I am very pleased to see this task force
begin its work and I look forward to its recommendations."
    The task force has been asked to focus on how to expand the residential
solar thermal market. Its recommendations will include actions that can be
taken by the solar industry, governments at all levels, retail and financial
institutions, and others who are active on conservation such as the electric
and gas utilities and environmental organizations. The task force will report
by October 31, 2008.

    
    Disponible en français.

                             www.energy.gov.on.ca


    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                             SOLAR THERMAL FACTS

    -   How much hot water can a solar thermal system provide?
        A year-round solar thermal system can provide about half the hot
        water a typical family uses in a year. Actual savings depend on
        usage, the cost of the system, and the existing heating source.

    -   Who uses solar hot water heating at home?
        Only a small number of households currently use solar water heating
        systems. In 2005, 48 per cent of all water heaters in Canada ran on
        natural gas, 46 per cent ran on electricity and under five per cent
        ran on heating oil.

    -   What does it cost to install a solar thermal system?
        That depends on the type of system installed. A roof-mounted system
        using heat exchangers can cost $5,000 or more. Government incentives
        can reduce up-front costs.

                         HELPING ONTARIO TO GO SOLAR

    Want to reduce energy costs and help the environment? A variety of
assistance is available to help homeowners and businesses go solar.

    For Homeowners:

    -   Ontario Home Energy Audit and Home Energy Retrofit Programs
        -  The Ontario Home Energy Audit program refunds up to $150 toward
           the cost of a home energy audit.
        -  The Home Energy Retrofit program refunds up to $5,000 for
           retrofits recommended by those audits. This matches a grant under
           the federal government's ecoENERGY Retrofit Homes program. Under
           this program, households that install a solar hot water system can
           get a $500 rebate from each level of government.

    -   Pilot Financing for Residential Renewable Energy
        Customers who want to install alternative and renewable energy
        systems will soon be able to apply for a low-interest loan from
        Enersource Hydro Mississauga and Hydro One Networks. The companies
        will be piloting a project with provincial funding.

    -   Go Solar Ontario
        Provides information at www.gosolarontario.ca or toll-free at
        1 866-922-2896 on:
        -  Solar technologies, including how they work, cost and payback
           periods
        -  Incentives and financing options available from a variety of
           sources
        -  Manufacturers certified by the Canadian Standards Association

    For All Sectors:

    -   Retail Sales Tax Rebate Programs
        To encourage the use of solar and other renewable technologies, the
        retail sales tax rebate on qualifying renewable equipment has been
        extended to January 1, 2010. Visit the Ministry of Revenue website at
        www.rev.gov.on.ca or call Ontario's Information Hotline at
        1-888-668-4636.

    For the Industrial/Commercial/Institutional Sectors:

    -   The Ontario Solar Thermal Heat Incentive
        The program aims to encourage schools, universities, municipalities
        and hospitals - as well as businesses and industries - to install
        solar thermal heating systems. The provincial government will cover
        up to 25 per cent of the cost to a maximum of $80,000. This matches a
        federal government contribution under its ecoENERGY Renewable Heat
        Program.

    Media Contacts:
    Alan Findlay                                     Sylvia Kovesfalvi
    Minister's Office                                Communications Branch
    (416) 327-3546                                   (416) 327-4334

    Disponible en français.

                             www.energy.gov.on.ca


    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                ONTARIO SOLAR TASK FORCE - MEMBER BIOGRAPHIES
    

    Elizabeth McDonald - Chair

    Elizabeth McDonald has been Executive Director of the Canadian Solar
Industries Association (CanSIA) since May 2007.
    As executive director of the solar industry's national trade association,
McDonald has worked to increase the profile of the solar industry in Canada
and abroad. Under her direction, the annual CanSIA conference was moved from
Ottawa to Toronto, which more than doubled the size of the conference and its
exhibition. As interest in renewable energy sources continues to increase,
McDonald and the CanSIA board are working to ensure they are ready to respond
as the industry grows. McDonald is also reviewing CanSIA's training and
certification activities to respond to increased demand in this area.
    Before she joined CanSIA, McDonald worked with three trade associations
in various senior positions. She has served on a number of public and private
boards and has extensive experience developing effective public-private
partnerships. McDonald has also worked as an independent consultant and has
extensive project management experience.

    Brian Rosborough

    Brian Rosborough is Director of Policy with the Association of
Municipalities of Ontario. Rosborough has twice worked for the association;
first during local services realignment discussions from 1995 to 1997 and
again since early 2004.
    Rosborough has worked in public policy in Ontario's provincial and
municipal sectors for the past 17 years. He has been a social and fiscal
policy adviser and a policy manager in the Ministry of Community and Social
Services. He was also Manager of Integrated Policy in the strategic policy
branch of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.
    Rosborough was also an independent public policy consultant for five
years for a variety of provincial, municipal and federal government clients.

    Rob McMonagle

    Rob McMonagle has been active in the solar industry since 1978 when,
while at the University of Toronto, he built a solar collector to heat his
parents' swimming pool in Toronto.
    He was hired by the City of Toronto in 2007 as a senior energy consultant
and was responsible for developing Toronto's Sustainable Energy Plan, which
was approved by city council in June 2007.
    From 2002 to 2006, McMonagle was Executive Director of the Canadian Solar
Industries Association (CanSIA).
    Prior to that, he founded Prometheus Energy, one of the pioneer firms in
renewable energy in Canada. Prometheus' solar installations included Canada's
first residential grid-connected solar system, a weather station in the
Russian Arctic, eco-resorts in Costa Rica, Belize and Guyana, medical clinics
in Mexico and Zimbabwe, and research stations in the Amazon. Prometheus Energy
was sold to Kitchener's ARISE Technologies in 2001.
    McMonagle has served on the board of the Solar Energy Society of Canada,
the Canadian Solar Industries Association and the Energy Action Council of
Toronto. He has extensive experience working on renewable energy committees
and advisory boards, including time on the Ontario government's Council on
Renewable Energy. He received CanSIA's Solar Leader Award in 2007.

    Larry Brydon

    Larry Brydon is a Senior Account Representative with Reliance Home
Comfort, where he supports new product development projects within their
builder markets group. As an energy and sustainability expert, Brydon
represents Reliance's interests through industry advocacy and association
participation.
    He holds several board and executive positions within the residential
construction and green building sectors including: co-chair of the Toronto
chapter, Canada Green Building Council; Executive and Director of
Communications for Sustainable Buildings Canada; and Board Director for the
Building Industry and Land Development Associations.
    Volunteer roles include serving as chair of the energy subcommittee for
the Canadian LEED for Neighborhood Development green building standard,
co-chair of Building Industry and Land Development's Green Committee, and the
policy and procedures and technical committees for the Ontario Energy Star and
Energuide for Houses program.
    Brydon is a regular stakeholder representative for many provincial and
crown corporation organizations including Natural Resources Canada, Industry
Canada, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the Ontario Power
Authority.
    He is a LEED Accredited Professional and a certified energy evaluator.





For further information:

For further information: Alan Findlay, Ministers' Office, (416)
327-3546; Sylvia Kovesfalvi, Communications Branch, (416) 327-4334

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Ontario Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure

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