Ontario’s Green Energy Act

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We’ve been hearing a lot lately about how one should never let a good crisis go to waste. Moving right along, Ontario appears to be following that advice seriously.

On Monday the Ontario government released its proposed Green Energy Act, a sweeping bill that would amend 15 existing provincial statutes. The new Act is incentive-based and would, among other things, encourage renewable energy projects, promote energy efficiency programs, and build a smart grid, which in turn would present opportunities to develop new technologies. Through the initiative, the McGuinty government hopes to create some 50,000 jobs.

Environmentalists, so far seem happy enough, though there are objections over the role of nuclear power. Most critics are zeroing in on the feasibility of the initiative in the middle of a cash crunch. And one of the more controversial features of the bill is the proposed $300 energy audit that would be required whenever homes are sold. Who would bear the cost of this is unclear, which is why some are calling it a disguised tax on homeowners.