McGuinty Government Deliberately Conceals its Cuts to Solar Power? By Richard Komorowski – Cornwall Ontario – July 12, 2010

McGuinty Government Deliberately Conceals its Cuts to Solar Power? By Richard Komorowski – Cornwall Ontario – July 12, 2010

Cornwall ON – The Government of Ontario operates quite a nice news room on its website, highlighting some of the events happening around the province. It’s designed particularly for members of the press. It also has a service which will email press releases, media events including cabinet ministers, etc. I subscribe to this service.

Of course, this is the government website, so obviously everything in it is from the point of view of the government. I don’t have a problem with this; the provincial government, along with every other group or individual in the province, has the right to put forth its opinion. Indeed, I find this service very useful.

Since July 1, I have received 22 emails from this service. Three concerned the Royal visit, three were about the strike (now resolved) at INCO, in Sudbury, four were smog advisories, six were miscellaneous (appointment of a new OPP chief, for example), and six extolled the virtues of the new HST tax. One typical title is: McGuinty Government’s Tax Reform Benefits High-Tech Industry. Not ONE of these emails gave any hint of the cuts to the Green Energy Act’s MicroFIT program.

As anyone who reads this column knows, I have been a steady proponent of the Green Energy Act, passed last year. I believe it is a good act – indeed excellent, as it makes Ontario just about the only jurisdiction in North America to take the future fuel shortage seriously (e.g. Peak Oil), and proposes a workable plan to minimise this impact on the province. Although I am not a great fan of McGuinty, this act alone would have guaranteed him my vote in the next provincial election.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered, quite by accident, that the tariffs for alternate energy were changed without notice. The Green Energy Act includes a provision for individuals and companies to produce electricity from renewable resources, e.g. wind, solar, biogas, biomass, etc. As the technology for generating electricity this was is still in its infancy, and consequently relatively expensive compared to a coal-fired generating station, the prices paid to producers were significantly higher than what Hydro One charges.

Now, granted, the government is paying way more than market price for solar electricity, and this price cannot remain forever. The reason it is paying such a high price is to give producers (homeowners, farmers) a decent rate of return. The increased market for solar energy supplies encourages research and innovation in the industry, which in turn will lower the costs of generation.

However, the provincial Liberals played dirty. Announcing a cut in rates is one thing. But to cut the rates for people who have invested many thousands of dollars pending approval of their contract is unethical, even by Harper standards.

McGuinty seems to have learned about timing such announcements from Harper too. The news of the cuts was not made on any official government news website, but was buried in the Ontario Power Authority website. It was posted on Friday, July 2, when many people were celebrating an extra long weekend, which virtually guaranteed its secrecy.

The announcement cites too many people are applying, and it’s taking too long to process the applications. McGuinty claims the Green Energy Act will result in 50,000 new jobs in the province. Too bad half a dozen of these new jobs weren’t given to people who could process the backlog of applications.

There is a 30 day period where the Ontario Power Authority will hear submissions about the changes. However, because of the timing of the announcement, and the deliberate attempt to hide it, the appeal period is less than three weeks in reality.

Those affected, or wishing to comment on the situation, can contact the OPA. You can also email the Minister, Brad Duguid, and local MPP Jim Brownell, with your comments.

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35 Comments on "McGuinty Government Deliberately Conceals its Cuts to Solar Power? By Richard Komorowski – Cornwall Ontario – July 12, 2010"

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Drew MacGillivray
Guest
Here’s a letter I wrote my MPP on this issue: Dear Ms. Pendergast, I’m a businessman living in Conestogo and I’d like to address the announcement by the OPA proposing a rate reduction from 80.2 cents per watt to 58.8 cents for ground-mounted solar arrays. The ground-mount rate reduction was announced saying that installation costs are the major factor in the greater return-on-investment (ROI) of ground mount systems. This isn’t true. These modern ground units are mounted on state-of-the art solar technology and a completely installed 10kW system costs in the area of $100,000.00. They are not cheaper than roof-mounted… Read more »
Eric
Guest
So, none of those 22 emails concerned a tax/fine (insert name here) on consumers buying electronics to dish soap either? Of course, that was from Stewardship Ontario, which must be an arm of the gov’t. Who else can just put a charge on things we use everyday. HST on heating fuel, now more for dish soap. ( I was not sure that I could continue typing for a family audience there for a second) Good for you Mr. MacGillivray, more people need to A, take notice of this provincial government tax and spend and B, do something like a letter… Read more »
The Watcher
Member

I think the only way I will ever vote for the provincial Liberals again would be if they got rid of McGuinty and Duguid. It’s a shame, because some of their policies were good, far better than anything the Tories have to offer.

Tammy A. Hart
Member

This is sickening to say the least, yet not surprising. How many times do people have to be lied to before they get it? Dalton McGuinty is a manipulator, a smoothie and he is on his way to bankrupting this province. Scary!

Tammy A. Hart
Member

Well now Jamie…I still have to say that I would rather him than anyone else out there. Give him a majority and we might get better results.

Tammy A. Hart
Member

Jamie, you may find this link educational about the G20 and Randy Hilliers opinion on how Stephan Harper and Dalton McGuinty dealt with it. I have alot of respect for Randy, we go back a long way.
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/834320–g20-crackdown-reeks-of-tyranny

Tammy A. Hart
Member

Jamie you have to know Randy Hillier, he pulls no punches. He might be a Conservative but he is more of a libertarian. He is a true believer in democracy and Canada’s Constitution and Charter of Rights.
He doesn’t give a damn about being politically correct…its about having common sense and just plain decency, and as little government as possible. Its not hard to agree with that!

Tammy A. Hart
Member

NO WAY…Randy is well read and intelligent, like myself of course. He is a good listener, like myself and is well rounded…you can draw your own conclusions, but you dont even know the guy. I would agree, that sometimes I do have to wonder if Stephen Harper is in fact a Conservative. You do have a point.

Jason Cohen
Guest

we are running a petition site to gather one voice to help reverse this rate change . I encourage people to visit http://www.microfitaction.com

Stan
Member

Admin: with your statement ” I’m not even sure at times it’s Conservative and it certainly isn’t Progressively Conservative.” I think you are right! He’s turning Green!

smee
Guest
Though I think McGuinty is an extortionist I think Mr. Komorowski is on a conspiracy theory here. We work with government rules and regs everyday. It is not just for the people in this article. It is the business owner’s unfortunate responsibility to keep abreast of changes, be they right or wrong. If we really want to create change then it has to be a united front. Right now everyone is just looking for their best interest, courtesy of our upbringing and peer pressure most do not even realize it. Why not find a reputable media host ( hint hint… Read more »
smee
Guest

Richard
Why would we not support research into DC power distribution? It is a more efficient system safer and can travel greater distances with less line loss.

There are inventions using DC systems however like the Pogue carburetor and the Tucker automobile, doing it better or right is frowned upon.

smee
Guest
Something to consider when looking at how the Deomcratic Canadian liberal party in Ontario runs the system and how our province is actually run. It is not new by any means, different names and different applications but the same ssituation. Why it happens is our general lack of education. Three primary elements characterized feudalism: lords, vassals, and fiefs; the group of feudalism can be seen in how these three elements fit together. A lord granted land (a fief) to his vassals. In exchange for the fief, the vassal would provide military service to the lord. The obligations and relations between… Read more »
Tammy A. Hart
Member
Lets get back to the Federal politics, who in hell would vote for a man like Ignatieff after his childish comments at an Orleans BBQ comparing Prime Minister Stephen Harper to Satan. At a BBQ in Orleans, Igi made these childish remarks ” You know you smell the whiff of sulphur coming off the guy,” said Ignatieff in reference to the prime minister. Saying someone has the whiff of sulphur about them has a long history in both literature and religious writing of referring to Satan.” How desperate he truly is. I was asked to go visit him in Cornwall…fat… Read more »
Tammy A. Hart
Member

Globe and Mail: With demise of Supercorp, search for windfall stymied, Karen Howlett

http://tinyurl.com/379wg6p,
Toronto Star: Problems force Liberal retreat on SuperCorp, Robert Benzie

http://tinyurl.com/26dqode

The Conservatives dont seem to want to move in that direction, I dont get it?

Destructo
Member

Tammy: I wouldn’t vote for Iggy. Actually I can’t vote for Iggy. He won’t be running in our riding. I would vote for Bernadette though. She seems really nice, especially compared to Guy Smiley.

willie191
Guest

The Progressive Conservatives, who sold highway 407 when the government was looking to raise cash in 1999 to balance its books. The Tories sold the road, built with taxpayers’ money, to a private firm in a 99-year lease for $3.1 billion.

Tammy A. Hart
Member

Rodney, do you want a nice politician or a politician that will do the job?

Stan
Member

That was provincial willie, not federal.

smee
Guest

willie, 407 is owned by a conglomerate, not just one company, One of which is a Canadian firm.

Besides Harris and company were cleaning up after Bob Rae and the NDP screwed everything up. The money from the hiway was needed

smee
Guest

Rick
any comments on the post?

Grimalot
Guest

http://www.quotesdaddy.com/author/Stephen%20Harper

Now there’s some interesting stuff. Have fun with all the Harperite quotes.

Jason Cohen
Guest

Amazing turnout , thanks for all the help . We have had over 600 petitions , 2,000 page hits . Please help http://www.microfitaction.com lets hit them with one voice and some usable data

Thank You

willie191
Guest

You Conservative/Reform can justify anything when it comes to a dollar. Bob Rae was a liberal in NDP clothing.

Stan
Member

He still is willie

Rick
Guest
Regarding the rate fiasco. This is a 20 year contract, rates will raise and to my knowledge there is no plans for adjustments for inflation. The seemingly high rates will turn the other way as the contract nears it’s end. Just ask Newfoundland how their long term contract went with the Churchill Falls Dam in the 70’s. Good luck trying to compare solar to our current pricing. It has been so subsidized and perverted by bean counters that were hired by successive politicians trying to save their careers that nothing resembles anywhere near the truth. Instead a few people that… Read more »
willie191
Guest

smee, thank you for pointing out the obvious.

smee
Guest
Rick I must agree the misinformation of issues like this run rampant. Makes people just admire our government at all levels. How can we use roof mount solar panels on a older home not structurally designed to hold the increased load. I am not talking only about the panels alone but also the increased load from snow and freezing rain. How do you clean the snow and or ice off of a roof mount if you are a senior citizen? If we decide to go with panels mounted at grade we now loose green space. If we decide to run… Read more »
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