Ontario Legislature Passes Green Energy Act

    McGuinty Government's Plan Will Lead to Green Jobs and Green Energy

    TORONTO, May 14 /CNW/ - Ontario's Legislature today passed the historic
Green Energy Act, intended to attract new investment, create new green economy
jobs and better protect the environment. The legislation will now be sent to
the province's Lieutenant Governor for Royal Assent.
    Once in force, the Green Energy and Green Economy Act (GEA), as well as
complimentary policy and regulations, will provide the government with the
necessary tools to ensure Ontario's place as North America's renewable energy
leader, and to create a culture of conservation, assisting homeowners,
government, schools and industry in embracing lower energy use.
    The GEA will offer a wide range of economic opportunities for
manufacturing and skilled labour as well as new renewable ventures for
Aboriginal communities, farmers and community groups in rural Ontario or for
urban dwellers, schools or companies looking to invest in rooftop solar to cut
their electricity costs.
    The legislation was the result of consultation with stakeholders,
including public comment on its provisions through both legislative hearings
and posting on Ontario's environmental registry.

    Key elements of the legislation (and related policy) include:
    -   Streamlined approvals for renewable energy projects, spurring
        renewable energy investment while working with municipalities and
        ensuring strong protection for health, safety and community
    -   Mandatory (unless waived by buyer) home energy audits prior to the
        sale of homes.
    -   Developing a Feed-in-tariff system to provide guaranteed prices for
        renewable energy projects, with a related focus on helping companies,
        farmers, Co-ops and other groups navigate the approvals process,
        creating Ontario jobs, and developing a smart grid which, among its
        benefits, will support this new energy supply. .
    -   Opportunities for municipalities, First Nation and Métis communities
        to build, own and operate their own renewable energy projects.
    -   New programs for municipalities, communities and Aboriginal groups to
        ensure some project costs associated with community renewable energy
        projects can be recovered.
    -   Establishment of an academic research chair to examine potential
        public health effects of renewable energy projects.

    Once in force, the legislation itself will lead to many important
changes, including a process of regulatory and policy changes, which will also
benefit from public and stakeholder consultation.


    "The Green Energy Act will truly set us on the path to a 21st century
green economy for Ontario, one that is sustainable, easy on the environment,
and focused on the jobs of the future. We'll be working hard to ensure Ontario
gets every benefit possible from renewable energy and from the efficiency and
savings that come from developing a culture of conservation."
    - George Smitherman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy &


    -   The Green Energy and Green Economy Act was introduced into the
        Ontario Legislature on Feb. 23, 2009.
    -   Over 50,000 jobs in the next three years are expected to result from
        implementation of the Green Energy Act.
    -   Canada's two largest wind farms are located in Ontario and by the end
        of 2009, nearly 1,200 megawatts of wind capacity will be on-line,
        enough to power almost 325,000 homes.
    -   Investments in new renewable energy projects already in place or
        under construction in Ontario total about $4 billion.
    -   The Green Energy Act is designed to build on the McGuinty
        government's earlier initiatives on the province's power supply,
        including a plan to eliminate coal-fired power by 2014, the single
        largest climate change initiative in Canada.


    For more information on the Green Energy Act, visit:
    The Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure at www.ontario.ca/greenenergy

                                                      Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Amy Tang, Minister's Office, (416) 327-6747;
Eric Pelletier, Communications Branch, (416) 325-1810

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Ontario Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure

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