Building Community Power CO-OPperatively: A Renewable Energy Summit

Friday, 30 September 2011

A blow to wind advocates

Hamilton City Council Joins Call For Moratorium on Industrial Wind Development HAMILTON, ON, Sept. 30, 2011 /CNW/ -

Wind Concerns Ontario is celebrating Hamilton City Council becoming the seventy-eighth and largest municipal government to date to successfully pass a motion of moratorium calling on the Government of Ontario to halt industrial wind development until proper health studies have been completed and local democracy is restored.

"Hamilton has joined a movement of municipal governments who recognize the deep flaws that plague Ontario's Green Energy Act and we're pleased to see a municipality with the size and clout of Hamilton join in this call for science and democracy to govern Ontario's energy future," said John Laforet, President of Wind Concerns Ontario.

Hamilton is home to NDP, Liberal and PC MPPs who are facing re-election six days from now. "PC Party Leader and Niagara West Glanbrook (which includes part of Hamilton) MPP Tim Hudak has been clear his party stands with Hamilton City Council and seventy seven other municipal councils who represent more than 2.5 million Ontarians, NDP Leader and Hamilton Centre MPP Andrea Horwath needs to be equally clear, as does Dalton McGuinty." Laforet added.

Wind Concerns Ontario has called on all parties to support a province-wide moratorium on further industrial wind development while independent health and environmental studies are completed to inform minimum setback regulations, for the restoration of local democratic planning authority, an end to the feed-in-tariff program and the cancellation of the Samsung deal.

Wind Concerns Ontario is a grassroots coalition of fifty eight community organizations in thirty five districts and counties in Ontario and has members residing in sixty-seven of Ontario's one-hundred and seven electoral districts. For further information: John Laforet President - Wind Concerns Ontario 647 724 0600

Thursday, 29 September 2011

"Investing in Renewable Energy is Kick-ass."

Hamilton region's first HHEAT 'Building Community Power Co-operatively' took place yesterday, September 28th. Jeff Harti gave an excellent presentation that included an overview of energy generation in Ontario today and into the future, the different types of renewable energy that the Ontario government is focused on through the Green Economy Green Energy Act (and the Feed in Tariff). Many good questions arose and going through the completed surveys of the evenings presentation that we collected after the event the following concerns.thoughts/ideas were included: Requests to learn more about co-ops, with actual real life examples of renewable energy co-ops- such as the Solar Share Mississauga (Water View) example. Some of the main reasons that people were interested in becoming part of a local co-op were expressed as follows: Wanting to see a reduction in "CO2 emissions." Concern for a stable future energy source, home not being suited for the FIT but wanting to benefit from investing in solar, democratic, proactive, clean, local resilience, "spirit of community,ownership and opportunity to profit as a community," ethical, fair, just, local were all terms that were used. As one attendee put it, "Renewable energy is kick-ass. Investing in renewable energy is kick-ass." I think that says it all!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Green Energy Field Day

Thanks to Green Venture for inviting us out to their open house where we were able to promote the HHEAT project. This was part of Ontario Sustainable Energy Association's (OSEA) Green Energy Field Day on Spetember 24th, 2011. EcoHouse opened it's door to the public and showed off their newly installed MicroFIT solar PV system. Interested persons saw how a project went from conception to completion. OSEA launched it's first province wide Green Energy Field Day Local businesses, farms, schools, companies and organizations had the opportunity to showcase their green energy project. Participating locations included Toronto, Cobden, Reaboro and Mississauga, with scheduled events ranging from biogas facility tours to a photovoltaic design and installation course. Thanks to Environment Hamilton's super volunteer Stu C for helping to promote the project!

Building Community Power Co-operatively

Learn about Renewable Energy and its connection to Community Power You will be introduced to the co-op model of investing in renewable energy as a group. Wednesday September 28th-Laidlaw Memorial United Church 155 Ottawa St at Cannon in Hamilton 7-9pm Call 905 549 0900 or email Beatrice

Thursday, 22 September 2011

HHEAT Community Meeting in Oakville!

HHEAT Community Meeting in Oakville!

On Tuesday 20th September, the HHEAT community meeting at the Clearview Church , Oakville was a success!
With people from diverse backgrounds from farm owners to church members, engineers and solar developers, they all came out to engage and participate in an evening of vibrant discussion and networking.
Thank you to all those who came out and we look forward to helping to provide you with the tools and resources to facilitate the formation of your community co-operative!
Please keep visiting the blog for more details and the latest updates on community meetings within your region.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Analysis of Ontario Political Platforms

Analysis of Ontario political platforms

Analysis of Ontario political platforms

Published Sept. 20, 2011

By Tim Weis, Cherise Burda, Sachi Gibson

The Pembina Institute's detailed platform analysis compares the commitments the Ontario Liberal, NDP and Progressive Conservative parties have made on a range of sustainable energy priorities.

The analysis looks at where the parties stand on issues such as investing in renewable power generation, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, creating incentives for energy conservation and expanding transit systems. The results identify clear leaders in building the province's clean energy economy.


For the full report please go to the following link for download:

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Why Community Power Makes Sense

Here's a piece that I found on the internet about community power in New Jersey but I think it's relevant to those of us trying to get RE co-ops off the ground. Read the whole article here: While a bill that would enable a community, church or neighborhood group to form a local renewable energy collaborative (LREC) for the purpose of hosting a community-owned solar system is bogged down in the legislature, the residents of several New Jersey developments have taken it upon themselves to create their own solar communities. The two community solar models are somewhat different: the bill in the legislature enables the sharing of solar energy produced by a large communal solar installation, while the private initiative involves residents banding together to take advantage of economies of scale in the cost of installing solar on their individual residences. But the outcome is the same: homeowners are able to install solar at a reduced cost, as well as to reap the benefits that solar brings in terms of reduced electricity bills, federal tax benefits and a new income stream from the sale of SRECs, or solar renewable energy certificates, a state financial incentive. The increased production of solar energy, meanwhile, benefits society by reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions and by contributing to the development of a robust renewable energy sector that promotes prosperity and national security. The community solar concept originated in California, but we’re making an effort to bring it to New Jersey. Community solar have been installed at four residential developments in New Jersey, and plans are underway at several more......... While most homeowners initially consider solar out of concern for the environment, it is the 15 to 20 percent return on investment that usually ends up being the deciding factor. In fact, solar is such a good deal in New Jersey that homeowners, once they get a handle on the numbers, can hardly believe they’re for real. As an example, let’s take Somerset Run, an age-restricted community in the Somerset section of Franklin Township, recently completed a community solar project of 10 homes collectively representing 80 kilowatts of generating capacity that is expected to produce nearly 100,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. The typical solar system in the Somerset Run community solar project will be paid back in less than five years through a 30 percent federal tax credit, an annual savings on electricity costs of about $2,000 and an annual income from the sale of SRECs of about $5,000. Solar becomes even more affordable when you consider the fact that homeowners are able to finance most of the upfront cost through loans, and that solar systems in New Jersey are exempt from sales and property taxes (although a solar system adds to a home’s value, it will not increase the tax assessment).....

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Green Energy Act Creates Opportunities for Energy Collaboratives

The Official Ontario Green Energy Act creates opportunities for individuals to collectively invest in renewable energy through initiatives like its Community Solar Bonds

Saturday, 10 September 2011


United Nations to launch the International Year of Cooperatives at the UN General Assembly Hall on Monday, 31 October 2011 in New York.

Welcome to the official website on the International Year of Cooperatives (IYC). Here you will find information on events planned throughout the year, as well as suggestions on how to get involved and participate.

The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives,highlighting the contribution of cooperatives to socio-economic development, in particular recognizing their impact on poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration.

The United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/64/136 encourages all member States, the United Nations and all relevant stakeholders to take advantage of the IYC to promote cooperatives and raise awareness of their contribution to social and economic development and promote the formation and growth of cooperatives. The resolution A/RES/64/136 - Proclamation of 2012 as International Year of Cooperatives is available in all UN six official languages: English | Français | Español | Русский | عربي | 汉语

The United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/65/184 Invites all Member States to consider taking action towards establishing national mechanisms, such as national committees, to prepare for, observe andfollow up on the International Year of Cooperatives, in particular for the purpose of planning, stimulating and harmonizing the activities of the governmental and non-governmental agencies and organizations concerned with the preparations for and observance of the Year.

English | Français | Español | Русский | عربي | 汉语

Goals of the International Year of Cooperatives

  • Increase public awareness about cooperatives and their contributions to socio-economic development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
  • Promote the formation and growth of cooperatives
  • Encourage Governments to establish policies, laws and regulations conducive to the formation, growth and stability of cooperatives
For more information visit:

Monday, 5 September 2011


There's a whole lot of talk going on about renewable energy. Solar, wind, bio-energy, hydro. You might be wondering,"How do I fit in?"

The Hamilton Halton Energy Awareness Team (HHEAT) answers your questions.

HHEAT works within Halton and Hamilton to raise awareness about the benefits of renewable energy. HHEAT also facilitates the formation of neighbourhood networks to explore the potential for local, community-owned, renewable energy co-operatives.

Follow this blog and get the latest updates on how you can be involved in the 'community power for all' movement.