Repeal of the Green Energy Act

ERO number
013-3832
Notice type
Act
Act
Green Energy Act, 2009
Posted by
Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines
Notice stage
Decision
Decision posted
Comment period
September 21, 2018 - October 21, 2018 (30 days) Closed
Last updated

This consultation was open from:
September 21, 2018
to October 21, 2018

Decision summary

The Green Energy Repeal Act repealed the Green Energy Act and amended other Acts to re-introduce conservation and energy efficiency initiatives, restore municipal authority over siting renewable energy projects, and create the authority to prohibit issuance of Renewable Energy Approvals, including where demand for electricity is not demonstrated.

Decision details

Bill 34 - The Green Energy Repeal Act, 2018

Bill 34, the Green Energy Repeal Act, 2018 was carried without amendment and received Royal Assent on December 6, 2018.  Details of the legislative amendments made under this Act, including the date those changes came into force, are provided below.

Repeal of the Green Energy Act, 2009

The repeal of the Green Energy Act, 2009 came into force on January 1, 2019 and select energy efficiency and conservation provisions were reintroduced in the Electricity Act, 1998.  Associated regulations were revoked and re-made under the Electricity Act, 1998.

Reintroduction of Select Energy Efficiency and Conservation Provisions - Electricity Act

The Electricity Act was amended on January 1, 2019 to re-introduce the following energy efficiency and conservation provisions:

  • Promoting Energy Conservation - Through this initiative, outdoor clotheslines and clothes trees can be used in a residential context.
  • Efficiency Standards – Enables setting efficiency standards for appliances and products and prohibits sale and/or lease of appliances and products in Ontario that do not meet the prescribed efficiency requirements.
  • Customer Access to Data (i.e., “Green Button”) - Establishes authority to require a common data standard for energy data. With such a standard in place, Ontario homes and businesses would have consistent access to their energy data and the ability to share their data with apps and software of their choice to analyze their energy use and identify energy efficiency opportunities.
  • Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking (EWRB) – Allows building owners to review a building’s energy and water use to compare it to its own past performance and the performance of other similar buildings. Ontario building owners of prescribed commercial, industrial, multi-unit residential and other building types that are 50,000 square feet or larger are required to report their building’s energy and water consumption, and greenhouse gas emission data annually. Buildings between 50,000 and 100,000 square feet are not required to report until 2023 but may report on a voluntary basis.
  • Broader Public Sector Energy Reporting (BPS) - Municipalities, municipal service boards, universities, colleges, school boards and hospitals are required to report annually on their energy use and greenhouse gas emissions to the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, publish the reports on their websites and ensure a hard copy is available at their head office. They are also required to develop a five-year conservation plan, publish the plan on their websites and ensure a hard copy is available at their head office. Plans must be updated every five years.
  • Override on Restrictions on certain Renewable Energy Projects - Designates roof or wall-mounted solar projects, roof or wall-mounted thermal air and thermal water projects and ground-source heat pumps to exempt such projects from many legal restrictions.

Restoring Municipal Authority - Planning Act

The Planning Act was amended on June 1, 2019 to repeal exemptions from most land use planning instruments that existed for renewable energy undertakings. This restored municipal planning authority regarding the siting of renewable energy generation facilities. In addition, the act was amended to:

  • Establish regulation-making authority for transitional matters,
  • Provide immunity from litigation arising from the restoration of municipal planning authority, and
  • Remove the ability to appeal municipal refusals of, and failures to make decisions on applications to amend official plans and zoning by-laws to allow a renewable energy undertaking (except by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing).

A regulation was made under the Planning Act that came into force on June 1, 2019 to address transition rules related to the restoration of municipal planning authority resulting from changes made to the Planning Act by the Green Energy Repeal Act, 2018.

The transition regulation allowed renewable energy projects that were already built, and those with existing contracts with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) or renewable energy approvals that were in-development to continue without the need for local planning approvals. It also allowed other, mostly small-scale, projects that were in development to continue without the need for local planning approvals, assuming these projects were completed before August 31, 2019.

In order to align with the Planning Act amendments, O. Reg. 359/09 (Renewable Energy Approvals regulation) was amended to require confirmation of municipal zoning by renewable energy approval applicants. 

Prohibiting Issuance of Renewable Energy Approvals - Environmental Protection Act

The Environmental Protection Act was amended to give the Province the authority to make regulations to prohibit the issuance or renewal of Renewable Energy Approvals. This includes circumstances where the demand for the electricity that would be generated by the renewable energy project has not been demonstrated.

In order to align with the Environmental Protection Act amendments, O. Reg. 359/09 (Renewable Energy Approvals regulation) was amended to require demonstration of demand by renewable energy approval applicants.

Comments received

Through the registry

176

By email

0

By mail

0
View comments submitted through the registry

Effects of consultation

ENDM received 176 comments through the Environmental Registry. These comments were evaluated to determine whether any issues raised could be addressed by motions to the Bill. 

Of all the comments received, 129 expressed concerns about the Bill in whole or in part. However, 125 of these comments expressed either general opposition to the Bill, or raised issues that were out of scope for the Bill (e.g., comments addressing Cap and Trade, electric car subsidies, and international treaties). These issues could not be addressed by motions to the Bill.

Based on the comments received, municipalities and municipal organizations were generally in favour of restoring municipal authority over the siting of renewable energy generation facilities.

Some of the comments received provided detailed feedback on one or more specific aspects of the Bill. However, the feedback contained in these comments was either contrary to the policy underlying the Bill or raised issues that were to be addressed in the regulations including:

  • A recommendation that Provincial control over the siting of renewable energy projects be maintained ran contrary to the policy to restore Municipal authority over project siting (by amending the Planning Act).   
  • A proposal to allow existing renewable energy projects to continue to benefit from the exemption from Municipal planning authority aligned with the proposed regulatory approach to transition projects to the new framework.
  • Opposition to the “demand for electricity” requirement proposed for the Renewable Energy Approval, due to a lack of detail, which would be provided later in regulation.

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Contact

William Coutts

Phone number
Office
Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, Conservation and Renewable Energy Division
Address

77 Grenville St.
5th Floor
Toronto, ON
M7A 2C1
Canada

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Original proposal

ERO number
013-3832
Notice type
Act
Act
Green Energy Act, 2009
Posted by
Ministry of Energy
Proposal posted

Comment period

September 21, 2018 - October 21, 2018 (30 days)

Proposal details

If passed, the proposed legislation would do three things:

  1. It would repeal the Green Energy Act, 2009 and reintroduce select energy efficiency and conservation provisions in the Electricity Act, 1998. Associated regulations would be revoked and re-made under the Electricity Act, 1998.
  2. It would amend the Planning Act.
  3. It would amend the Environmental Protection Act.

Further detail on what the amendments would do is given below:

Conservation and Energy Efficiency

Provisions related to certain conservation and energy efficiency initiatives would be repealed when the Green Energy Act is repealed, but would be re-introduced in the Electricity Act, 1998:

Promoting Energy Conservation

Permits the use of designated goods, services and technologies despite restrictions that may prevent their use. Through this initiative, outdoor clotheslines and clothestrees can be used in a residential context even in cases where, for example, the rules of a condo corporation prohibit them.

Energy Efficiency Standards

Regulates energy and water efficiency standards for appliances and products in Ontario and harmonizes Ontario’s requirements with the highest available minimum efficiency standards in North America.

Customer Access to Data

Establishes a framework to introduce a common data standard for energy data. With such a standard in place, Ontario homes and businesses would have consistent access to their energy data and the ability to share their data with apps and software of their choice to analyze their energy use and identify energy efficiency opportunities.

Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking

Allows building owners to review a building’s energy and water use to compare it to its own past performance and the performance of other similar buildings. Ontario building owners of commercial, industrial, multi-unit residential and other building types that are 50,000 square feet or larger are required to report their building’s energy and water consumption, and greenhouse gas emission data annually.

Broader Public Sector Energy Reporting

Municipalities, municipal service boards, universities, colleges, schools and hospitals are required to report annually on their energy use and greenhouse gas emissions and publish the reports on their websites. They are also required to develop and publish on their websites a conservation plan every five years.

Override on Restrictions on certain Renewable Energy Projects:

Designates roof or wall-mounted solar projects, roof or wall-mounted thermal air and thermal water projects and ground-source heat pumps. By being designated, these projects are exempt from many legal restrictions.

Certain Provisions would not be re-enacted

Provisions related to certain initiatives would not be re-enacted. These include:

  1. The un-proclaimed provision enabling mandatory home efficiency disclosure for homes at the time of sale;
  2. A regulation making authority to mandate public agencies to consider energy conservation in procurement and capital investments. The authority has not been used;
  3. Authority for the ENDM Minister to enter into transactions as are necessary to promote energy conservation and energy efficiency. This authority is already encompassed in the Minister’s general authority to enter into transactions;
  4. Guiding principles for the government in constructing acquiring, operating and managing government facilities and reporting requirements for government facilities that may be already implemented through authority found under the Ministry of Infrastructure Act; and
  5. Provisions to establish a Renewable Energy Facilitator and Facilitation Office, which are not required to be set out in statute in order to undertake the work needed.

Restore Municipal Authority

Planning Act would be amended to repeal exemptions that currently exist for renewable energy undertakings from most land use planning instruments. This would restore municipal planning authority regarding the siting of renewable energy generation facilities. In addition, the proposed legislation would:

  • Provide immunity from litigation arising from the restoration of municipal planning authority;
  • Remove the ability to appeal municipal refusals of, and failures to make decisions on, applications to amend official plans and zoning by-laws to allow a renewable energy undertaking (except by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing).

Environmental Protection Act

The Environmental Protection Act would be amended to give the Lieutenant Governor in Council the authority to make regulations to prohibit the issuance or renewal of Renewable Energy Approvals. This would include circumstances where the demand for the electricity that would be generated by the renewable energy project has not been demonstrated.

The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks is currently consulting on a proposal to amend Ontario Regulation 359/09 – Renewable Energy Approvals under Part V.0.1 of the Environmental Protection Act. The proposed changes would require anyone planning a renewable energy project to demonstrate a demand for the electricity they will produce in order to be eligible for a Renewable Energy Approval. See Renewable Energy Approvals regulation amendment posting for more details.

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Comment

Commenting is now closed.

This consultation was open from September 21, 2018
to October 21, 2018

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