Si l'Ontario peut le faire, nous aussi!

L'Ontario a mis en place une nouvelle politique qui favorise l'utilisation de l'énergie renouvelable des consommateurs. Selon cette politique, le " Standard Offert Contract ", les propriétaires d'un terrain qui produisent de l'énergie renouvelable par l'entremise du vent, de la biomasse, des cours d'eau ainsi que du soleil peuvent vendre l'excès de leur production au réseau. Cette politique permet non seulement aux consommateurs de recevoir des bénéfices économiques, mais aussi à l'environnement de bénéficier des avantages qui proviennent des énergies renouvelables.

Le Nouveau-Brunswick possède aussi une politique similaire qui crédite la production d'énergie des consommateurs, mais ce crédit est annulé à chaque année dès le mois de mars. Les consommateurs recommencent alors à zéro après ce mois chaque année. L'auteur, Toby Couture, constate qu'une politique comme celle en Ontario devrait être rapidement mise en place au Nouveau-Brunswick pour les consommateurs et l'environnement puissent en tirer bénéfice.

If Ontario Can Do It, 
So Can We! 

Toby Couture
Climate Action Coordinator
Conservation Council of New Brunswick
June 2007

n March 21st, 2006, a watershed moment in renewable energy development took place here in Canada.  Ontario put in place a new policy that enables farmers as well as individual land and business owners to sell the power they generate directly back to the grid, putting money in their pockets while they are at it.

In New Brunswick, we have a policy of net metering that credits power producers for the energy they generate, but, as it stands, this credit can't be carried over; it gets cleared at the end of March, wiping the slate clean of any surplus accumulated.  As of this year, Ontario is encouraging its citizens to invest in renewable energy by offering them a twenty-year contract that guarantees them a fixed price for the power they produce.

(photo: OSEA)

This policy is being called the "Standard Offer Contract," and it is rapidly becoming one of the most important topics in renewable energy circles across North America.  In Europe, under the name of "Feed-in Tariffs" or, more recently, "Advanced Renewable Tariffs," they have almost single-handedly been the driving force behind the remarkable growth we have seen there over the past fifteen years.

Feed-in tariffs have been hailed as the strongest policy available to drive rapid renewable energy development.  With the rising costs of electricity, there are more and more individuals who are beginning to look at other energy options for their homes, cottages, and businesses.

With this policy, individuals are able to sell the excess power they generate back to the grid, guaranteeing them an extra source of income, and extra security on their investment.  Also, the contracts are available for more than just wind production - biomass, small hydro, as well as solar photovoltaic energy are also all eligible.

(photo: Conservation Council of New Brunswick)

Ontario is currently offering a full $0.42/kWh for solar power, and $0.11/kWh for each of the others.  As you can imagine, hundreds are jumping on board, and there are likely hundreds more to follow.

The success that this policy has had around the world is leading many in North America to wonder why it isn't more widespread here.  With the boost that these contracts provide directly to individuals, the economic benefits they can provide to small and rural communities, along with the environmental benefits of generating cleaner and more sustainable energy, it may well be time for New Brunswickers to speak up.

The Conservation Council of New Brunswick is currently developing a strategy to promote this policy in the province, and we need your help.  For further questions or information, contact Toby Couture at the Conservation Council of New Brunswick: 506-458-8747.