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Real Estate News: McGuinty Backs Off Mandatory Green Energy Home Audits for Ontario

April 29, 2009

  Well it seems that Dalton McGuinty and Energy Minister George Smitherman have decided to listen to the backlash from consumers, home owners and the Real Estate industry.  I did write my local MP showing my concerns about the proposed Home Energy Audit as both a home owner and a Real Estate Broker.  

  I agree that everyone has to do what they can to ensure that they minimize their carbon footprint, conserve energy, use green, earth friendly products for both their impact on our environment, but also their impact on our health and well being.  As parents, my wife and I teach our children to be accountable for composting, recycling, re-using and reducing 

wherever possible.  Not only do I believe it to be right, but I want them to respect our environment so that the effect carries over long after we’re gone.
  From a Oakville and GTA Real Estate perspective, making the audits mandatory given the current instability in our economic environment was just bad timing.  I do not believe that this audit is gone for good, but that we will see it sometime in our future.  That being said, it is the responsibility of all home owners to do what they can little by little and day by day. It’s too easy to let someone else worry                                   about it…
  As always, your comments are encouraged. I respond to all emails and comments and should you require any further information please e-mail me or visit my website www.BuyAndSellYourHome.com.  
Cheers, 
Ryan
Enjoy the article from the Toronto Star :

Ontario backs off green audit for homes
Energy assessments will no longer be mandatory
April 28, 2009


QUEEN’S PARK BUREAU

A backlash from consumers and the real estate industry over a plan to require energy audits every time a home is sold has prompted Energy Minister George Smitherman to back down.

The audits – which raised concerns that information could be used to beat down the price on the seller’s home – will no longer be mandatory under amendments to the government’s Green Energy Act now working its way through the Legislature.

Buyers can request the seller to get an audit as part of the negotiating process but it will be voluntary, Smitherman said yesterday, urging buyers to go ahead with audits.

“We think it’s important to have that information when you buy a home: How much energy does it use?” he told reporters. “We’ve created an opportunity for buyers to say to the seller, `No, we’re not after that information.'”

The Progressive Conservatives applauded the change, one of several amendments to the act, saying the audits would have “tremendously harmed” a housing market already struggling in the recession.

“It’s a huge climbdown,” said energy critic John Yakabuski, MPP for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke.

“The only people to be sad today are home energy auditors and George Smitherman, who hates to be wrong.”

The act, designed to bring more energy conservation efforts and renewable sources of electricity to the province, will also be amended so residents will have an easier time objecting to wind turbine projects near their homes given the health concerns that have been raised.

“We listen carefully,” said Smitherman, who earlier suggested the law was written to limit the number of “not-in-my-backyard” objections to turbines. “We’ve made it easier for people to raise concerns around health and safety,” he said.

Critics had complained Smitherman was running roughshod over peoples’ legitimate fears about their health and property values.

“For him to dismiss it was typical,” said Yakabuski. “He’s had to admit there was an issue out there. It’s a huge admission.”

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