The focus of the Green Energy Act, 2009 is the development of a conservation culture in Ontario. Provisions that would achieve this goal include the following:
- prohibiting any person from offering, for sale or lease, an interest in real property, unless the person discloses the energy consumption and efficiency of the residence or other building on the property (as prescribed by regulation);
- designating (by regulation) energy efficiency and water consumption ratings for appliances;
- designating (by regulation) goods, services and technologies as a means of promoting energy conservation;
- requiring (by regulation) public agencies, including municipalities, and prescribed consumers (by regulation) to establish energy conservation and demand management plans, set conservation targets and make specific investments; and
- enumerating "guiding principles" to govern the construction, acquisition, operation and management of facilities by the Government of Ontario relating to energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, environmental responsibility and the use of renewable energy sources for the facilities.
Bill 150 would expand the Ontario Energy Board's mandate to promote energy conservation and efficiency by amending the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998 to:
- add the following to the electricity objectives that guide the Board in carrying out its statutory responsibilities: one is to promote the conservation of electricity, and the other, to promote the use and generation of electricity from renewable energy sources in a manner consistent with the policies of the Government of Ontario; and
- require the Board to take specified steps to implement ministerial directives related to conservation, and demand management targets to be met by electricity distributors and other licensees, and extend the Board's rate-making power to allow them to recover the associated costs by means of deferral or variance accounts.
Bill 150 would amend the Building Code Act, 1992 in two respects. One would require the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to initiate a review of energy conservation standards in the building code within six months after Bill 150 is passed and, thereafter, within five years of the end of the previous review. The other would create a Building Code Energy Advisement Council to provide advice with respect to energy efficiency measures contained in the building code.