McGuinty Government Asks Task Force to Focus on Green Target: Aiming For 100,000 Solar Roofs

News Release: 15 February, 2008

QUEEN'S PARK - A new task force will help Ontario meet its target of 100,000 solar systems installed in households across the province.

Premier Dalton McGuinty announced last June that Ontario was setting a target of 100,000 installed solar systems, as part of the government's "Go Green" climate change strategy.

Most Ontario households spend about 20 per cent of their overall energy budget on water heating - that's second only to space heating.

By supplementing existing electric or gas water heaters, solar thermal systems can dramatically reduce these costs. For example, each year a solar thermal system can save:

$325 and 600 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions for a typical family of four with an electric water heater $200 and 760 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions for a typical family of four with a gas water heater By comparison, an average-sized car generates about one tonne of greenhouse gas emissions a year.

The Solar Task Force members named today are:

Elizabeth McDonald - Executive Director, Canadian Solar Industries Association

Brian Rosborough - Director of Policy, Association of Municipalities of Ontario

Rob McMonagle - Senior Energy Consultant, Energy Efficiency Office, City of Toronto

Larry Brydon - Senior Account Executive, Reliance Home Comfort

"Residential solar thermal systems can cut household water heating costs by half or more and can play an important role in helping Ontario go green," said Energy Minister Gerry Phillips. "I am very pleased to see this task force begin its work and I look forward to its recommendations."

The task force has been asked to focus on how to expand the residential solar thermal market. Its recommendations will include actions that can be taken by the solar industry, governments at all levels, retail and financial institutions, and others who are active on conservation such as the electric and gas utilities and environmental organizations. The task force will report by October 31, 2008.

Citizen and consumer information is available by calling 1-888-668-4636

Media Contacts:

Alan Findlay - Minister's Office - (416) 327-3546

Sylvia Kovesfalvi - Communications Branch - (416) 327-4334

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