TORONTO—Community power groups are opposed to Bill 39, a private member’s bill scheduled for a vote at Queen’s Park this Thursday, and are urging their MPPs to oppose it. The Federation of Community Power Co-operatives (FCPC), an umbrella group representing over 20 community power organizations across Ontario, is concerned that Bill 39: An Act to provide for control by local municipalities over renewable and affordable energy undertakingsaims to terminate the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program that has provided much-needed support to Ontario’s burgeoning renewable energy industry and the community power sector.
“While the Bill’s title suggests good intentions, its contents would unravel years’ worth of hard work to get the renewable energy sector off the ground in Ontario,” said Judith Lipp, Chair of the FCPC, “The Feed-in Tariff program provides the necessary framework for a thriving green energy industry, which will enable the transition to a greener economy. Moreover, it is the only policy framework that enables the citizens of Ontario to become owners, decision-makers, and economic beneficiaries of energy generation.”
Bill 39 proposes to amend the 2009 Green Energy Act to allow municipalities to limit the promotion of energy conservation and to restrict activities around renewable energy projects, renewable energy sources or renewable energy testing projects. It also amends the Electricity Act to prohibit the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) from entering into contracts to purchase electricity derived from renewable energy sources unless the price for it does not exceed the price for power derived from non-renewable sources, including cheap coal and nuclear power.
“This Bill really aims to turn back the clock on energy policy in Ontario,” says Janice Ashworth, of Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op, “Ontario residents have shown they are keen to invest their own money in renewable energy, and the FIT program is essential if co-ops like ours are going to help them do so.”
Community power co-ops help improve Ontario’s green energy experience by enabling more community involvement in projects, and allowing the economic benefits of green energy generation to stay in the local communities where projects are built. Any resident of Ontario can join a community power co-op and as a member, invest in the co-op’s renewable energy projects and have a say in the co-op’s activities.
The Federation of Community Power Co-operatives (FCPC) is a coalition of groups developing member-owned renewable energy projects across the province. The FCPC facilitates co-op led project development at the highest possible standards by sharing collective experiences, expertise, knowledge and tested development tools and resources. The FCPC has launched a petition against Bill 39.
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The petition and links to more detailed information are available at: https://www.change.org/en-CA/
For more information and to arrange interviews, please contact:
Judith Lipp, President, FCPC. jlipp [at] trec [dot] on [dot] ca, 647-701-6032 (cell)
Janice Ashworth, Operations Manager, OREC, and Director, FCPC. janice.ashworth [at] ottawarenewableenergycoop [dot] ca, 613-748-3001 x.240 (office) or 613-296-8232 (cell)