Bill 150, the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, is proceeding rapidly through second reading in the Ontario Legislature. This Bill contains 12 different Schedules, each proposing or amending a different statute.
One of the Schedules will create the proposed Green Energy Act. Among many other things, the Green Energy Act will allow the province to require vendors of real estate to provide energy efficiency information, possibly an energy audit. Realtors have complained, but we think it’s an excellent idea. The vehicle equivalent, Drive Clean, has been immensely useful in reducing air pollution from badly maintained cars and trucks. It may also have saved car buyers money by ensuring that their new cars have working pollution control systems. When Drive Clean was announced, it was met with a chorus of objections, but the market adapted soon thereafter.
Buildings are usually estimated to release 30% to 40% of Canadian greenhouse gases. Since buildings last much longer than vehicles, a large proportion of Canadian buildings are old and inefficient. An energy audit frequently identifies many opportunities for property owners to reduce their energy costs. For example, our synagogue was astonished to learn of numerous cost-saving opportunities with very short payback periods, when we finally got around to a formal energy audit. And implementing the recommendations gave us a much more comfortable building, with better lighting.
More on the Green Energy Act later, as soon as time permits!