Late last year, the Government of Ontario released their Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP). The plan outlines five guiding principles that will help Ontario make decisions about our energy consumption, including: “cost-effectiveness, reliability, clean energy, community engagement, and an emphasis on conservation and demand management before building generation”.
As you may recall, last fall the legislature passed a private member’s motion calling for the proclamation of section 3 of the Green Energy Act, 2009. If proclaimed, section 3 would create a system of mandatory home energy audits across Ontario and would have created many negative consequences for home owners.
REALTORS® urged MPPs to protect home owners and vote against the motion. Although OREA supports promoting home energy conservation, we felt there were more effective ways of achieving this goal. For example, OREA has been a strong supporter of voluntary incentive based programs such as the former Home Energy Audit Rebate Program. Thanks to this program, over 500,000 homes were audited between 2007 and 2012. More importantly, 90% of these homes were retrofitted for improved efficiency.
We are happy to report that the government chose not to pursue mandatory home energy audits in their LTEP, rather, they have committed to making new financial tools available to consumers to help them make the move to more energy efficient homes.
OREA will continue to monitor the implementation of the LTEP and developments inside the Ministry of Energy to continue to encourage the creation of incentive based home energy conservation policy.