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Amendments to Co-op Operations

Last week the Legislative Assembly of Ontario passed the first reading of a Private Member’s Bill that would help even the playing field for co-ops.

Limitations on Co-op Business

One of the rules governing co-ops is that they must conduct at least 50% of their business with their members. CED Co-op, and other renewable energy co-ops like us, don’t conduct business with our members. Instead we generate and sell clean, green energy to the Ontario energy grid. Right now we are exempt from the 50% rule, as long as generation and sale of electricity is the only business we engage in. This makes it difficult to pursue any business beyond the current model of FIT contract acquisition. Helping improve our energy system through Net Metering, storage, or electrification is prohibited based on our bylaws unless we can generate and sell electricity.

Bill 187, Co-operative Corporations Amendment Act

Bill 187 removes the rule that co-ops must conduct 50% of their business with members. It would allow co-operatives to specify in their bylaws how much business they will conduct with non-members.

This bill has passed the first reading, which means it has been introduced. There will be a Second Reading, Committee, and Third Reading that must be passed before the bill can receive Royal Assent and come into force (learn more about how bills become law here). This means we are some time away from seeing this change come into affect. Nonetheless it is exciting to see our elected representatives taking positive steps on behalf of co-operatives.

Watch Nathalie Des Rosiers deliver her Member’s Statement prior to the reading of the bill in the Legislative Assembly.

The Future For CED Co-op

Removing the 50% member business limitation would certainly open up new opportunities for CED Co-op, but until then we are focused on continuing to make a positive impact on Ontario’s electricity grid. Our new Offering Statement allows individuals the opportunity to invest in renewable energy systems, and earn strong financial returns. We will finish constructing, and continue acquiring solar power systems so that Ontario has reliable, responsible electricity.

 

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