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Schreiner Joins Local Businesses to Demand McGuinty Government Honour Solar MicroFIT Promises

NEWS

Green Party of Ontario (GPO) Leader Mike Schreiner joined local solar businessman David Estill, President of Estill Energy, Jamie Pilkey, National Sales Director of Green and Clean Energy, and Ben Polley, GPO Guelph candidate of record and President of Evolve Builders Group Inc., at a news conference in Guelph to demand that the McGuinty government honour its promise to pay green energy entrepreneurs 80.2 ¢/kWh for solar projects under 10 kilowatts.

Schreiner criticized the McGuinty government for unexpectedly changing the rules on the fly. Estill and Pilkey described the financial difficulties the government’s action has had on solar energy dealers and installers who invested heavily in inventory and training to support orders that are now being cancelled. Polley described how the changes would negatively effect job creation and investment, especially in rural areas.

The Green Party is launching a province-wide campaign to call on Premier McGuinty to honour his word and stand behind the promised pricing for all current solar microFIT applications.

QUOTES

“Instead of fostering community economic development and green job creation, the government’s mismanagement is hurting this emerging industry. People’s livelihood and savings may be lost. Premier McGuinty should be ashamed for misleading citizens.”
– Mike Schreiner, Leader, GPO

“I lost $250,000 in sales after the proposed rate cut was unexpectedly announced. It’s tough taking this kind of hit.”
- David Estill, President of Estill Energy

“Business needs predictability to make good decisions. Changing the rules on the fly is causing people to lose confidence in the microFIT program and puts a chill on investment in the sector.”
- Jamie Pilkey, National Sales Director of Green and Clean Energy

“The McGuinty government doesn’t hesitate to create special deals for multinational corporations like Samsung, but they won’t honour promises for local, community-based green power. That is wrong.”
- Ben Polley, GPO Guelph candidate of record and President of Evolve Builders Group Inc.

QUICK FACTS

· The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) says it has received over 15,000 contract applications since the microFIT program was announced 9 months ago.
· The majority of applications have been for ground-mounted solar panels predominantly in rural areas. Ground mounted panels are the target of the government’s cuts.
· The OPA had only approved 3,000 of the contract applications when the cut was suddenly announced. This means close to 10,000 people could be affected by this cutback which will reduce the income on their investment by 27%.
· A 10 kilowatt solar project costs $70,000 or more to install.

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Contact:
Becky Smit or Elaine Sanders
647-830-6486 or 416-977-7476