Last summer, media across the country reacted with astonishment to our articles revealing the bans on clotheslines in many subdivisions and condos (see July 26 07 blog). Ontario has the power, under its Energy Conservation Leadership Act to wipe out such clothesline restrictions, but didn’t do it, despite calls for immediate action from the Chief Energy Conservation Officer, Peter Love, the Mayor of Aurora and many newspapers. This week, the Ministry of Energy finally proposed to do something: a regulation to invalidate clothesline bans in subdivisions (but not those in condominiums). In case even this minor step is too controversial, the Ministry invites comments until March 21, 2008.This would be the first use ever made of the Energy Conservation Leadership Act. According to the press release, Hanging Clothesline Bans Out To Dry, electric clothes dryers typically account for about six per cent of residential electricity consumption. By hanging just 25 per cent of those laundry loads out to dry, consumers could save about $30 a year on their electricity bills and make a meaningful contribution to reducing air pollution and greenhouse gases.For now, those in multiple unit dwellings can still be denied the same right. Ministry of Energy spokespeople say they’re concerned about safety, and point to the rights of condo dwellers to democratically change their own bylaws. (This is much harder in a subdivision.) “Consultations with stakeholders will continue”, they say.
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