A Major Step Forward for On-Site Solar in Ontario

The Ontario Government have announced amendments to the province’s net metering regulation to enable third-party ownership arrangements, such as leasing, financing and power purchase agreements (PPAs), providing electricity customers in Ontario more options to participate in net metering.  

“The Canadian Renewable Energy Association applauds the Government of Ontario for taking this important step to improve the accessibility of solar net metering,” said Robert Hornung, CanREA’s President and CEO.  

“This regulatory clarity will enable our industry to move forward in providing Ontario consumers with more options to lower their energy costs and to reduce GHG emissions, while helping to drive job creation and growth in the province’s renewable energy sector.” 

These changes will dramatically reduce the up-front cost barrier to the adoption of solar net metering. They signify a major step forward for consumer choice and improved accessibility of renewable energy.  

“This will open up new market opportunities for solar developers in Ontario,” said Nicholas Gall, CanREA’s Director of Distributed Energy Resources and Director for Ontario, “while at the same time contributing to achieving the GHG emissions reduction goals set out in the Province’s Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan and helping consumers to reduce their energy costs.” 

Going forward, Ontario homeowners or businesses will have the right to enter into one of two third-party financing arrangements for rooftop solar PV: 

  • Solar lease: A customer pays a third-party developer for the use of an on-site solar PV system over a specified period of time, rather than paying for the power generated –pay per month (e.g., 15-year term); 
  • PPA: A third-party developer sells the power generated by an on-site solar PV system to the customer for a fixed period of time (e.g., 15-year term) and at a fixed per-kWh rate (less than what is charged by the LDC). PPAs inherently afford greater consumer protection as consumers only pay for power produced.

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