Ontario Provincial Energy Audit (Bill 150) Passed

Energy Minister George Smitherman’s proposed legislation, Bill 150, the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, has been passed in legislation.  The bill would make an energy audit compulsory for the sale and some leases of every residential property in Ontario, including houses, apartments, and condominiums.  Commercial and industrial is not included. 

The legislation proposes that home sellers provide information via standardized energy audits, regarding the energy efficiency to a buyer before they could sell the property to them.  However, the bill was amended to allow buyers to waive this requirement, after the TREB and OREA raised concerns about the proposal. The Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure is working on regulations that will outline the details on how the audit requirement will be implemented. The requirements of the bill will not go into effect until these regulations are finalized (expected in 2010). The TREB and OREA intends to work the ministry, to provide input on the regulations.

This comes on the heels of provincial Liberal leader and Ontario Premier, Dalton McGuinty’s announcement in January 2009 of a harmonized sales tax.  The tax would be imposed on many items which are currently exempt.  They are currently looking at how it will be implemented. Prior to that, municipal NDP leader, and the City of Toronto’s mayor, David Miller imposed a new municipal land transfer tax on top of the normal provincial land transfer tax.

What makes this troubling is that it sets a precedent for government intervention into a free market.  This is bad for homeowners and investors. Investors primarily investing in rental properties will need to keep this in mind as their rental property becomes older.  They also need to account for this audit in each property investment plan as they get closer to the disposition of their properties.  Things such as insulation, windows, furnaces, etc, prior to selling can become huge costs.

– Thanks to my associate who is a Toronto area ReMax agent, for the updated news regarding the bill!

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Thanks & Happy Investing!
The Investment Blogger © 2009

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