R – The Green Alternative Plan (GAP)

The Green Alternative Plan (GAP) is a proposal to address Ontario’s energy needs by directly engaging Ontario taxpayers and residential users. This home-based alternative to industrial energy projects literally empowers individuals and families to take greater responsibility for their own electrical and heating usage, as well as to contribute towards community electrical needs.

Objectives

GAP’s focus is both narrow and broad in its economic, social, and political dimensions.  The Plan promotes conservation and electricity generation by individual homeowners.  Coincidentally, it develops Ontario’s economy, creating real jobs related to renewable energy technologies.  And it provides a viable alternative to industrial wind projects and their associated environmental and other consequences.

Core Components

Each year tens of thousands of homeowners would qualify for grants and loans covering electrical and heating system costs up to about $80,000 each.  Seventy percent of installed costs would be covered by a grant; the remaining 30 percent by an interest-free loan secured by a mortgage and repayable over twenty years or upon home sale.

Grants and loans would be funded by a 1.5-cent per kwh surcharge on all residential users. This amount is comparable to the rise in electricity rates expected from planned industrial wind installations, and the GAP will provide greater reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel use, and significantly greater industrial development, jobs and other economic benefits.

Similar programs can be established for businesses, institutions, farms, community systems and industrial applications.

Homeowners may choose one or several small-scale green technologies to supply their electrical and heating needs.  For example, thermal and PV solar panels can provide water heating and household electricity.  Small wind turbines can be complemented by solar panels and battery storage systems.  Geothermal systems can replace electricity heating, natural gas or oil-burning furnaces and also work as air conditioners. Homeowners will select and purchase equipment from local suppliers.  Although GAP identifies several technologies, it sets no restrictions on those to be considered.

The deployment of small-scale technologies is not intended to move participating homes off the electrical grid.  Many homes may still be net consumers of electricity because of the limitations of home-based systems. On the other hand, homeowners who have installed large solar or wind systems may be able to produce more electrical power than they can use and conveniently store. If GAP homes are connected to the grid with net meters, they may all become—at some time—electrical distributors to the community.

Benefits

The Green Alternative Plan is a cost-effective, environmentally responsible proposal that will:

For more information go to the GAP

Last updated May 18, 2009

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