Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Police State Energy Audit in ONTARIO is SCARY!!!

Dear Honourable Jim Wilson, MPP: Thank-you for this information! I find the emails very helpful and informative as to the various legislative issues on the table. It is frightening that the Energy Audit will be much like a police state. It seems to be another cash and power grab which really has no business in a democracy.what is the present government thinking? I wholly agree with your disdain for the Home Energy Audit proposal. It certainly would be a far better thing to create a spirit of cooperation rather than what is being force-fed the public through the invasive "Home Energy Audit" agenda. It seems this Audit will only serve a select few special interest groups and does not address the issue of long term Energy Saving requirements. It seems very limited and short-sighted and does not take the big picture of a new renewableGreen economy into effect. Where does the buck stop? It seems wonderful when the common citizen can renew, reuse, recycle. We take the burden from big business when we have to recycle plastic, cardboard, etc in our green bins. However, should not big business be responsible for making packaging in the first place which is 3R friendly? Why place this burden always on the back of John Q. Public. People will start getting smart and realize the burden is being unfairly placed on the back of the public when it should be a cooperative effort. Besides, recycling plastic is frought with environmental dangers, not to mention PCB contamination when the byproduct of plastic is burned during the recycling process. The entire recycling programs needs to be reexamined as far as equitable and ethical considerations is concerned. A question that has been on my mind lately; why are there not more public input/referendums when it comes to the important issue? The public is already taxed to death and overly scrutinized in all areas without a fair advantage for the people. Who is really being served here? We need to realize this will only make for difficult public relations. The public needs to be respected for the intelligent entity it needs to be; after all, I thought democracy credo is "We the people". Why is it I am feeling left out of the democratic equation? Thank-you for standing up for democracy principals, Honourable Jim Wilson; please help maintain the public's democractic processes. Your public service is invaluable, and we do so appreciate all the hard working and well-meaning politicians and public servants to a great degree! Thank-you for listening to me today, and we always appreciate the information sent via email, it does educate me and my family as to the governmental procedures in Ontario Parliament today.Yours truly, Jane K. Jones

--- On Mon, 3/16/09, Jim Wilson, MPP wrote:

From: Jim Wilson, MPP
Subject: Home Energy Audits Will Be Costly Says Wilson
To: jannneee2121@yahoo.com
Date: Monday, March 16, 2009, 8:50 PM

Jim Wilson, MPP Queen's Park Report

Home Energy Audits Will Be Costly Says Wilson

Forgive me for writing another column on Bill 150, the Green Energy Act. As the centerpiece of Dalton McGuinty's legislative agenda this spring I think it is important that we all understand the many ways that this Bill will concern your pocketbook and community.

As I wrote previously, if Bill 150 passes, it will drive energy costs up by shifting the risk of cost overruns and scheduling delays in the energy sector from private developers on to taxpayers. It also eliminates the last remnants of a competitive marketplace by allowing private developers to build anything, anywhere, anytime, at any price.

When I was Energy Minister, our Progressive Conservative Government said "never again" to that approach. Those who remember Darlington or the $38 billion in accumulated debt from the old Ontario Hydro know why. Unfortunately, it appears as though Mr. McGuinty's Liberal government is now saying "one more time!"

But the most controversial aspect of the Bill that directly impacts every homeowner is the requirement in Bill 150 for every home sold to undergo an energy audit. It will cost about $300 and will consider everything from your showerhead to your furnace. If one isn't up to snuff, be prepared to fix it. The average cost of repairs? Based on past examples it's going to cost thousands and thousands of dollars.

Gary Weir of the Ontario Real Estate Association noted "the results of these audits will be used by home buyers as bargaining chips to significantly reduce the final selling price". This could be particularly worrying for seniors relying on the equity in their home for retirement. Same for first time home buyers who will now need more money to buy their first resale home.

Most troubling is the legitimacy of these audits. In 2007, a Toronto Star investigative report explained how four companies came up with four different energy ratings for the very same house. One company said the house required $3,000 in renovations while another claimed the need for $25,000 worth.

If that doesn't concern you, maybe the new "toaster police" will. Bill 150 allows for government inspectors who will be able to conduct inspections and searches in your home, not for criminals, but for energy-efficiency. Granted, they must get a search warrant, but they can apply for it without notice to the homeowner.

Once the warrant is in hand, they can enter and seize any document or computer and search through your garbage. Interfering with the inspector or even failing to assist is an offense punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 -- all of this in the name of energy efficiency.

Finally, Bill 150 will take away local autonomy by exempting renewable energy projects from local zoning by-laws. This means that McGuinty will decide what gets built where and he doesn't have to give a hoot if you object.

In the end, despite what McGuinty would like you to believe, Bill 150 is no panacea to the economic crisis in Ontario that he helped to create. Ontarians are going to end up paying the price, for more expensive energy and for McGuinty pet conservation projects too. Hold on to your wallet.


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