Ontario's Green Energy Act to Mandate Energy Audits!!

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The Ontario Government has recently had first reading of Bill 150, The Green Energy Act. Although, I applaud the decision to bring forward GREEN Issues at this time but I have some concerns:
1) At present, the dust has not settled on who will be the group to set levels of energy efficiency. There are a number of groups fighting to make their “seal of approval” the acceptable level. I think that will be easier said than done but this should not be rushed into to be fashionably GREEN.
2) With somewhere just over 400 Registered Building Inspectors in the Province as yet untrained in this newer area, how the Government expects to make this new law mandatory on the sale of property is beyond reality.
3) At present the Ontario Government does not mandate Building Inspections or Seller Property Information Sheets in the sale of Property in the Province. Are we not leapfrogging over these important issues that have long been a part of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale and can lead to great controversy.

I would like to think that this Bill is not just today’s fashion or window dressing to cover over some of the major issues that the Province of Ontario is facing.

The Toronto Real Estate Board recently said:Under the proposed Green Energy Act, home owners would be required to provide information regarding the home’s energy efficiency prior to the sale or lease of the property. Energy efficiency information about the property would have to be determined and provided by standardized methods established by the provincial government. The Province has not yet provided information on these details. The legislation, if passed, would allow the provincial government to prescribe:
• what energy efficiency information has to be provided and in what manner;
• the cost of home energy efficiency audits;
• the types of residences that these requirements would apply to; and,
• under what circumstances and at what times these requirements would be effective.

Here is the response to the Government from the Ontario Real Estate Association.

To be clear, I like the goal but I see it as premature as a mandated program by the Government and worry that without proper attention it could open a can of worms.

Please feel free to post your thoughts and comments.

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1 Response

  1. Chris Chopik

    I appreciate your perspectives on this and there are some points that I believe TREB, OREA and you are misinformed on.
    1) “At present, the dust has not settled on who will be the group to set levels of energy efficiency.” Natural Resources Canada has been dealing in home energy labeling for +- 25 years. The firm that did the rating on my Toronto home 12 years ago is delivering a similar and improved service to my clients today. The program is called ecoEnergy, the label is called EnerGuide, and it is the foundational measure for R-2000 and EnergyStar homes in the context of new build. This group will be the group tasked with delivering the Ontario Program. It is a proven, successful, with established accreditations, processes and $10,000 in grant funding for performance improvements.
    2) “With somewhere just over 400 Registered Building Inspectors in the Province as yet untrained in this newer area, how the Government expects to make this new law mandatory on the sale of property is beyond reality.” A lesson in the history of the home inspection industry is needed here. In the early 80s there was no HI industry, by mid 80’s Home Inspection industry was a booming business of independent contractors. In economic terms markets typically respond to opportunity and I see no reason for your skepticism about the capacity of Ontario Entrepreneurs and Natural Resources Canada to create economic opportunity while delivering a highly valuable and important service to the marketplace. Finally, Home Inspectors are not Energy auditors, and they are and unregulated professional body. The Natural Resources Canada ecoEnergy Program is federally regulated. There may come a convergence of these industries over time as indicated by Carson Dunlop’s foray into this business 6 months ago, and GreenSaver’s market driven program that targets HI as a professional body of influence regarding Building performance.
    3) At present the Ontario Government does not mandate Building Inspections or Seller Property Information Sheets in the sale of Property in the Province. Are we not leapfrogging over these important issues that have long been a part of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale and can lead to great controversy. Richard, the underlying reason as we have discussed over the past few years is energy inflation. The quality of life of Ontarians and the competitiveness of our society will be entwined with Ontario’s efficient use of energy. As efficiency is the driver of competitive advantage in business, it will also drive the long term buoyancy of our Real Estate market in Ontario. The MANDATE in my view is a savvy move on part of Hon. Min. Smitherman and his esteemed team to protect Ontarians for the expected resurgence of energy costs. Ontario imports 94% of its energy from other markets. Reducing our exposure to market volatility on scarce and declining global energy supplies is a move for competitive advantage and reduced risk. The market driven uptake is not a viable solution. An alternative course of action is irresponsible on the part of government.
    I invite you to take anther perspective by viewing:
    link to evolutiongreen.com

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