A solution for London’s economy, jobs, environment,
As Ontario strives to become the solar capital
of North America, London should set the goal of being the
solar capital of Ontario.
What is PACE?
It is one of the hottest ideas at the municipal level in the
United States. It started about five years ago in Berkeley,
California and has grown ever since. Basically, it’s
a way to finance solar systems or energy
efficiency retrofits, where the city pays for the installation
and you pay it back through your property tax bills over 15
to 20 years.
A. Assessment for
The biggest obstacle to the installation
of solar power on homes is the upfront expense to the home
owner. A 2 kW solar installation
typically runs between $14 000 and $20 000. Although costs
are continually decreasing it is still a large purchase usually
requiring financing from a bank. PACE
removes all upfront costs and the need for
any financing. To put it simply: the city pays for the installation
of the solar panels and assesses your property tax over 20
years to recoup the cost. The best part is there is no cost
to the city either.
Ontario is in a unique and exciting situation
to take advantage of PACE.
What if you were told you could put a 2 kW
solar system on your house for no money and it would pay
you better than $700 a year? Thanks to Ontario’s
Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program, solar panels are now
one of the best investments you can find. Here is
an example using a typical 2 kW
solar installation (conservative values used):
||Cost of a 2 kW
solar panel installation (above-average cost)
||Paid for up front by City of London
||Cost to home owner
||Household income from microFIT
program at 80.2 ¢/kWh
||Property tax assessment for 20 years
||MONEY IN YOUR POCKET AFTER PAYING THE TAX ASSESMENT
Why does this work so well? The FIT
program from Ontario Power Authority guarantees a
payment of 80.2 ¢/kWh
for all the electricity you generate. In the United
is nowhere near as profitable for the home owner and it has
taken off: California now has a state-wide program.
|What does this mean to you and
|Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!
Solar panels, racks,
wiring, etc. all have to be manufactured
|Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!
to install them
From the newly employed and
the money earned from the FIT
program by homeowners
More clean power from solar
Cleaner air and less dependence
on fossil fuels and nuclear energy
The more sources of electricity
the less we’re affected when a single source
|Help for all
Rather than continue to give
handouts to pay for rising energy costs, PACE
has the potential to make everyone an energy entrepreneur
and not reliant government handouts
Imagine the look on your child’s
face when they come home to see the solar panels for
the first time
Pride in living in London -
the solar capital of North America
Installing solar will make you feel
great and give you control over you energy costs.
A 2 kW system
will offset roughly 1.4 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions
annually, equivalent to:
- 229 litres of gasoline
- 1,943 kilometres of driving
- 163 acres of forest carbon capture
What is needed to get PACE off and
running in London?
- City council approval and endorsement of the program
- A finance mechanism:
Cities cannot float municipal bonds in Ontario. Two potential
sources of money to get started with PACE:
- Ontario floats a bond for London to get the ball
rolling. The bond is no risk as property tax is assessed
to the home and is continued even in the event of
sale. (Should not be too hard to sell with a $700+
income as a bonus to the new owner)
- London could use a portion of the Federal GST rebate.
(The rebate was meant for sustainable infrastructure
and solar panels fit the bill)
- Citizens tired of rising energy costs and wanting to
Article written by Gary
Brown. Gary is the natural-resource issue advocate and
candidate for London West for the Green Party of Ontario.