EBR: Regulation to encourage and permit the use of outdoor Clothes lines!!!About time!!!

Ministry of Energy: Information Notice loaded to the Registry: January 21, 2008;=MTUzMjkz&language;=en

Making a regulation under the Energy Conservation Leadership Act, 2006 (the "Act") to encourage and permit the use of outdoor clotheslines (clotheslines).

This notice is for your information. The Environmental Bill of Rights does not require this notice to be placed on the Environmental Registry, however, section 6 of the Act does allow the Environmental Registry to be used to share information about the environment with the public.

Rationale for Exemption to Public Comment:

The Energy Conservation Leadership Act, 2006 is not "prescribed" under the Environmental Bill of Rights. As such, there is no legal requirement to post a notice of proposal on making this regulation. The Ministry of Energy however, feels that this proposed regulation warrants review and consultation on the Environmental Registry. Please see "Invitation to Comment" for details.


The Ministry of Energy is considering developing a regulation that would permit the use of clotheslines. Property owners and local governments have raised concerns that legal barriers exist preventing the use of clotheslines in some communities. Using clotheslines is an alternative to using electric and gas fired dryers and helps conserve energy.

The proposed regulation is in response to interest in energy conservation and climate change. There are a number of restrictions in law that could prevent the use of clotheslines. These are:

Restrictive covenants or agreements used by property developers that prohibit the use of clotheslines. Restrictive covenants are usually implemented and registered on title when the developer sells a property and title to the property is transferred to the home buyer;

Provisions in condominium by-laws (or in declarations) that require written approval of a majority of the condominium residents for a condominium owner to install a clothesline; and

Municipal by-laws that prohibit the use of clotheslines. To date, there have been no municipal by-laws uncovered which ban the use of clotheslines.

The proposed regulation would be made under sections 3 and 10 of the Act and would override restrictions in law including restrictive covenants and agreements which sought to ban the use of outdoor clotheslines.

Purpose of this Regulation:

The purpose of the regulation would be to permit the use of clotheslines and/or clothes umbrellas by the occupants of any freehold (owner occupied or rental) detached, semi-detached, townhouse or row house and contribute to energy conservation by increasing the opportunities for people to make choices that conserve energy.

For a typical Ontario household, electric clothes dryers account for 6% of the household's total electricity consumption.

Reducing the use of clothes dryers will reduce energy consumption reduce energy bills and lower environmental emissions.

Other Information:

The Act supports Ontario's target to reduce the Province's projected peak electricity demand by 6,300 MW by 2025. The Act helps achieve this target by encouraging conservation leadership in the public sector, and by supporting implementation of conservation practices like clotheslines.

The Act enables government, through regulation, to:

Remove barriers to energy conservation by permitting the use of specific goods, services and technologies by designating those goods, services or technologies under section 3 of the Act;

Require the government of Ontario and the broader public sector stakeholders (e.g., schools and hospitals) to prepare energy conservation plans; and

Encourage all Ontarians to conserve energy.

A review of municipal by-laws has uncovered no examples of municipalities restricting the use of clotheslines, some promote their use and others permit clothes umbrellas. Most restrictions appear to occur because of provisions found in restrictive covenants and condominium by-laws.

Several U.S. states (e.g. Florida) have passed "right to dry" legislation that expressly permits the use of clotheslines.

Other Public Consultation Opportunities:

Prior to its passage by the Legislature, the Ministry of Energy posted a notice of the then proposed Energy Conservation Responsibility Act, 2005 (which was given Royal Assent on March 29th, 2006) (Bill 21), which includes what would eventually be the Energy Conservation Leadership Act, 2006 as Schedule A to that Bill and notice of decision on the proposed Act on the province's Environmental Registry. The Registry number for the postings is AO05E0501 .

In February 2006, the Standing Committee on Justice Policy (a committee of the Ontario Legislature made up of members of the provincial parliament) held hearings on Bill 21 and received submissions from the public.

Invitation to Comment:

Please submit your comments on this proposal by March 21, 2008 to;

Alan Kirschbaum

Senior Policy Advisor, Ministry of Energy

Conservation and Strategic Policy

880 Bay Street

Toronto Ontario

M7A 2C1

Phone: (416) 325-5767


Additional Information:

The documents linked below are provided for the purposes of enhancing public consultation.

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1. Energy Conservation Leadership Act, 2006


Box 282,

North Bay P1B 8H2

tel 705 497 0373

fax 476 7060

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