Ontario amends net metering policy to allow third-party ownership


Ontario’s regulatory changes expand access to net metering, allowing solar customers to receive credit on their electric bill for any excess energy sent back to the grid.  The changes clarify and enable third-party ownership arrangements for net metering, such as leasing, financing, and power purchase agreements. Prior to the amendments, the net metering regulation required the customer to own or operate the renewable generation system to qualify as an eligible generator.

“Our government has put families back in control of their energy bills and we will continue to give them more tools to keep costs down, including new ways to lower electricity costs,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Energy. “By allowing families and business to lease rooftop solar systems and benefit from net metering we are eliminating barriers, including up-front costs for customers, while at the same time supporting new jobs in our growing clean energy sector.”

Encouraging net metering creates new opportunities for renewable energy businesses, including installers, developers, and service providers, to offer distributed energy solutions, like rooftop solar and other distributed energy resources. In making the announcement, the ministry of energy office released a statement saying that the government hopes the amendments will encourage businesses interested in investing in Ontario to be able to set up their facilities in the province and have more options to meet renewable energy or sustainability targets.

“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,” said Robert Hornung, president and CEO, Canadian Renewable Energy Association. 

The government also introduced consumer protection measures that apply specifically to third-party ownership net metering arrangements. Some of these measures include disclosure requirements for businesses when dealing with homeowners and businesses, ensuring transparency for consumers.

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