On May 25th, I submitted my own application for the Ontario Power Authority’s (OPA)Microfit program. The program was created by the Provincial Liberal govt as a way to encourage homeowners to use alternative, clean source of energy such as sun, wind, water and bioenergy. Green energy.
Solar power is the one that interests most people, including myself. The deal is simple. The govt will pay me $0.802 kWh for 20 years. Compare this with the $0.07 to $0.10 kWh that most homeowners pay for normal household electricity and you can see this can be a very lucrative incentive to ‘get off the grid’, as they say. That could generate around $7,000 per year for me. But then again, it’s gonna cost me around $30,000 to $40,000 to install the solar panels and hook up to local hydro company…. Still, the payback is around 8 to 10 years… after that, it’s all profit and eventually, I can make and use my own electricity.
Back to my application….. It’s being processed by the OPA and it could take upwards of 45 days to get it processed. I have also submitted my application to my local hydro provider, Burlington Hydro. They also must approve my home for connection and hook up. I’m now in a race against the election clock. Yes, another election this fall….. This time it’s a Provincial election. The Conservative govt has made it clear that if they win, they will probably scrap the program as it’s too expensive in their mind. But all existing applications and contracts will have to be honored no matter which political party is in charge.
And so, I wait… stay tuned for more details as they unfold…
Oh, and by they way, I do see why the Conservative govt would want to scrap the program… Up until last December, there were a number of companies that popped up and offered FREE installation of the solar panels, in return for 85% of the revenue for 20 years…and then there are the bigger farm properties… I took a drive up to Tobermory a few weeks ago. Along the road were dozens of these strange looking barns with no walls and just a solid frame and roof… They were huge! The roofs were covered with solar panels… These buildings were clearly designed for one purpose…..to attach the solar panels and produce electricity… and to generate revenue…..
This is not what the program was intended for… The program was created for property owner to produce their energy…not over produce and sell it for an exorbitant profit…. We can probably guess that once the 20 year guaranteed govt contract is up, these huge barns will probably collapse and disappear….
It’s these sort of loopholes that infuriate most of us… The govt seems to have closed the gaps now but not before many have taken advantage of the offer and are now generating untold $$$thousands and probably $$$millions in some cases per year…. Some forward thinking could have prevented and minimized the losses.