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Suggested Letter to Municipal Candidates

Enough solar energy hits the Earth in one minute to replace the fossil fuels consumed by everyone, everywhere for a year.

Cutler Cleveland

Dear Ward Candidate,

Many savvy investors and burgeoning economies are investing heavily in in renewable energy sources. The Ottawa Renewable Energy Cooperative (OREC) offers all Ottawa residents the opportunity to invest in community owned renewable energy systems.  We have the technology, every reason to act together with eager community partners who are ready to embrace these opportunities.

At OREC, we recognize that the advancement of renewable energy in Ottawa is consistent with the following city policies:

  • Term of Council Priority Environmental Stewardship;
  • Term of Council Priority Economic Prosperity;
  • Air Quality and Climate Change Management Plan (recognizes growing trend and role of generating renewable energy locally);
  • Investment strategy for Sustainable Economic Prosperity (balancing business prosperity with social equity, environmental responsibility and cultural expression);
  • Choosing our Future report, in particular the Energy and Emissions Plan, a sub-plan of the Sustainability and Resilience Plan, focuses on increasing renewable energy and reducing energy demand; and finally,
  • ‘Partnerships for Prosperity’ proposes that the City take an even more aggressive funding role in the local social enterprises sector.

We also acknowledge Ottawa council resolutions that give solar rooftop projects priority points that are consistent with Ontario’s Feed in Tariff program rules (versions 2 and 3). In the next few months, Energy Ottawa will develop rooftop projects on twenty large, city-owned community buildings (e.g. sports and recreation complexes, administration buildings, etc.). These are all fruitful steps in the right direction!  

Still, we believe there is strong room for improvement and make the following recommendations:

The City could be a better partner by

  •  making changes to the regulatory regime to facilitate solar installations (currently, those developing solar rooftop projects are thwarted by overly cautious and arguably unnecessary requirements during the permits and approvals phase of project development); and,
  • leveraging the City’s role as a prominent building owner to increase resident participation in rooftop solar projects through partnership with the Ottawa Renewable Energy Cooperative.

Please respond with your plans related to the points above that will advance the City’s partnership potential and Ottawa’s progression towards the use of community-owned, democratically managed and distributed sustainable energy sources.

 

 

 

 

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