If you conserve water, you could soon pay more under Ottawa's new flat rate

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New water billing system could roll out in early 2018

By Kate Porter, CBC News

A long-awaited report from City of Ottawa staff recommends changes to how the city charges for drinking water, takes away sewage, and deals with water from big storms.

While the city promises that most households will see hardly any change on their bills and those who use very little water will see their bills go up, those who consume a lot of water could pay less.

That's because the amount charged on water bills will no longer be based solely on how much water a home or business consumes.

The city wants to introduce a fixed cost to the bill because staff say, for the most part, the cost of operating and maintaining the water system doesn't vary with the amount of water used.

Staff also propose phasing in a storm water fee of about $27 to $53 per year on the property taxes of those who are on private wells and septic systems and don't pay water bills.

Signs of progress

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By David Chernushenko

Some days you have to pause to admire the signs of progress in the world around you, or at least in your corner of the city. This morning I had one of those stop-and-smell-the-roses moments:

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Bike paths were full, and the bikparking spaces at City Hall (top) and Lisgar Collegiate and  were overflowing.

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Solar panels were generating at full capacity, at City Hall and the more than a thousand rooftops across the city. More solar rooftop installatons on City facilities are in the works.

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Electric vehicles were making full use of the charging station at City Hall and new charging stations are coming soon in strategic locations across Ottawa

While I continue working with hundreds of partners across the city on our renewable energy transitions strategy — Energy Evolution— it is clear that such an evolution is underway. The time to go big is at hand.

Ottawa gets green with solar energy project

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Eight municipal buildings now equipped with solar panels.

Solar panels in place atop the city's François Dupuis Recreation Centre.

By Evelyn Harford, Metro

The sun has risen on a new solar project between the city and Energy Ottawa.

Energy Ottawa, a subsidiary of Hydro Ottawa, announced their installation of solar panels on eight city buildings Wednesday as part of a large-scale solar energy project.

The large-scale installation came after the success of the 2010 pilot project, where smaller solar systems installed at city hall and one other building. Hydro Ottawa said the renewable energy generated from the panels would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 41,382 metric tonnes over the 20-year-term.

The eight solar systems on city buildings is the first large-scale solar project for the city, said Bryce Conrad, president and CEO of Hydro Ottawa.

The energy produced from the panels is equivalent to removing 300 homes from the grid each year and city is expected to receive $1.7 million dollars over 20 years from the project, said Hydro Ottawa.

Mayor Jim Watson said the city’s revenues would come from the rental costs of the roofs.

Watson said this partnership between Energy Ottawa and the city is only the beginning.

The ultimate goal is put solar panels on all city buildings, that can accommodate the panels, as long as it makes financial sense – and so far, it does, he said.

“Installing solar panels on municipal buildings just makes sense.”

Conrad said the cost of solar has reduced dramatically, which is why cities like Ottawa are able to have large-scale solar projects like this.

When the panels become more affordable solar projects will become more widespread, said Conrad, who added that the province has foot the bill for this project.

Watson said the city has made a commitment to green energy and will continue to look for ways to reduce our carbon footprint – so long as it’s in the budget.

Énergie Ottawa et la Ville d’Ottawa annoncent le lancement d’une nouvelle initiative portant sur les installations solaires

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Ville d’Ottawa/Hydro Ottawa

En compagnie du maire Jim Watson, Énergie Ottawa, filiale d’Hydro Ottawa, a annoncé aujourd’hui son projet d’installations solaires sur toit en collaboration avec la Ville d’Ottawa. Le Centre récréatif Jim-Durrell fait l’objet de l’un des huit projets d’installations solaires à grande échelle prévues sur le toit de bâtiments municipaux, notamment des arénas, des piscines et des garages municipaux. Grâce à ces installations, la Ville accroîtra sa production d’énergie renouvelable tout en réduisant ses émissions de gaz à effet de serre de 41 382 tonnes métriques sur une période de 20 ans.

Par suite du succès remporté par un projet pilote réalisé en 2010, qui portait sur des installations solaires à petite échelle aménagées sur le toit de l’hôtel de ville d’Ottawa et celui du Centre de contrôle intégré du transport en commun, situé sur le chemin Belfast, Énergie Ottawa et la Ville d’Ottawa ont conclu une entente prévoyant la production d’énergie solaire.

Lorsque les huit projets auront été réalisés, les installations solaires devraient produire près de 3 000 000 kWh/an, ce qui équivaut à retirer plus de 300 habitations du réseau d’électricité chaque année.

Faits en bref

  • Énergie Ottawa, principal producteur d’énergie verte appartenant à une municipalité en Ontario, produit assez d’énergie verte pour alimenter 62 000 habitations pendant un an.
  • Les installations qui produisent de l’énergie solaire font appel à des cellules photovoltaïques convertissant l’énergie du Soleil directement en un flux d’électrons afin de produire de l’électricité pour les consommateurs.
  • La Ville d’Ottawa devrait engranger environ 85 000 $ par an, soit 1,7 million sur la période de 20 ans couverte par le contrat. II s’agit de nouveaux revenus générés en utilisant le toit de bâtiments, qui serait autrement inutilisé.
  • Selon les estimations, l’installation photovoltaïque de 250 kW qui sera aménagée sur le toit du Centre récréatif Jim-Durrell devrait produire 328 465 kWh/an (ce qui équivaut à retirer plus de 30 habitations du réseau d’électricité chaque année).
  • Sept autres bâtiments municipaux sont visés par cette initiative :
    • Complexe récréatif Ray-Friel – chemin Tenth Line
    • Complexe récréatif Kanata – place Charlie-Rogers
    • Centre sportif Walter-Baker – promenade Malvern
    • Centre récréatif François-Dupuis – boulevard Portobello
    • Garage de travaux publics – chemin Conroy
    • Garage des bus articulés – avenue Industrial
    • Garage de l’atelier – chemin Iber