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Ontario's Bold New Plan for a Green Economy

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Ontario's Bold New Plan for a Green Economy

McGuinty Government To Boost Renewable Energy, Economic Growth and Create a Culture of Conservation

Ministry of Energy

Ontario is proposing sweeping new legislation to attract new investment, create new green economy jobs and better protect the climate.

The proposed bill, the Green Energy Act (GEA), if passed, would help the government ensure Ontario's green economic future by: 

  1. building a stronger, greener economy with new investment, creating well-paying green jobs and more economic growth for Ontario - a projected 50,000 jobs in the first three years
  2. better protecting our environment, combating climate change and creating a healthier future for generations to come.

The proposed GEA is a bold series of coordinated actions with two equally important thrusts:

  1. making it easier to bring renewable energy projects to life, and
  2. fostering a culture of conservation by assisting homeowners, government, schools and industrial employers to transition to lower energy use.

The proposed GEA, and the expected regulatory changes and policies that would flow from it, include a range of measures. Among the most notable elements are:

More Renewables

Culture of Conservation

  1. Creating a new attractive feed-in tariff regime - a pricing system for renewable energy - that will guarantee rates and help spark new investment in renewable energy generation, increase investor confidence and access to financing
  2. Establishing the "right to connect" to the electricity grid for renewable projects
  3. Establishing a streamlined approvals process, including providing service guarantees for renewable energy projects and a Renewable Energy Facilitator.
  1. North American leading energy efficiency standards (Energy Star) for household appliances, including efficient use of water
  2. Mandatory home energy audits prior to sale of homes
  3. Making energy efficiency a central tenet of Ontario's Building Code
  4. Green Ontario government and broader public sector buildings; including the development of conservation plans.

The proposed GEA would encourage billions of dollars in investment to help ensure Ontario's energy supply mix is one of the cleanest anywhere. The proposed legislation would also enable the government to set domestic content requirements for renewable energy projects, leading to job opportunities here at home. If passed, the legislation would also drive new economic opportunities for local communities, First Nations and Métis communities to build, own and operate their own renewable energy projects.

As the proposed legislation and its implementation move forward, ongoing consultations would be held with First Nations and Métis communities and stakeholders including business, environmentalists and municipalities.

If passed, the GEA would build on the McGuinty government's earlier initiatives on the province's power supply, including a plan to eliminate coal-fired power by 2014, the single largest climate change initiative being undertaken in Canada.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario has already brought about 1,000 megawatts of new renewable energy on-line since October 2003
  • Canada’s two largest wind farms are located in Ontario and by the end of 2009, nearly 1,200 megawatts of wind capacity will be on-line, enough to power almost 325,000 homes
  • Investments in new renewable energy projects already in place or under construction in Ontario total about $4 billion
  • Ontarians spend over $7 billion a year on electricity to power their homes and small businesses. Just a 10 per cent conservation saving would free $700 million from family budgets
  • To date, the Ontario Home Energy Savings Program has provided $38 million to assist homeowners with over 42,000 energy-efficient retrofits

Additional Resources


“There exists today a global race to establish the policies, attract the investment and build the foundation for the green economy that is sure to sustain future prosperity and progress. It is a race Ontario is determined to win. This proposed legislation would help Ontario become the preferred destination for green jobs, green investment and green energy.”

George Smitherman

Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure



Business and Economy Environment and Energy