About Us

Collaborating to build a better energy future.

Vision

To provide a method for individuals to invest in renewable energy projects through effective partnerships between communities and individuals.

Mission

To bring together citizens and organizations to create a prosperous energy industry in Ontario that benefits everyone – through education, empowerment and participation.

Values

As a co-operative, CED Co-op is guided by the 7 Co-operative Principles, and as a renewable energy developer, the principles of socially responsible investment.

There is power in our community.

CED Co-op is championing the acceleration of renewable energy development in Ontario. We are a community of like-minded individuals working together to build meaningful and impactful projects that improve the lives of everyone.

The CED co-op is celebrating its 10th Anniversary in 2022. Over the past 10 years the Co-operative has focused on solar energy development in Ontario. Over the next decade we will be concentrating on additional initiatives such as the carbon credit market, electrification of vehicles, energy-efficient fleets, green buildings, and virtual/community net-metering energy markets. 

Our history

The CED Co-op began as a team of visionaries and renewable energy experts who wanted to provide friends and family with an environmentally-friendly way to invest. Inspired by renewable energy and how it can make our world a better place, we started our story with a small handful of solar projects in our hometown of Kitchener-Waterloo. Since then, the CED Co-op has grown to host over 100 projects Ontario-wide. Our membership has grown too! We now have over 800 members supporting our renewable energy developments.

Community Energy Development Co-operative was incorporated in the Province of Ontario under the Co-op Act on October 31, 2012, as a for-profit co-operative with share capital. CED Co-op was formed in response to several market factors:

The Ontario FIT Program

The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) developed the Feed-in-tariff (FIT) Program for the Province of Ontario to encourage and promote greater use of Renewable Energy in Ontario. The fundamental objective of the FIT Program, in conjunction with the Green Energy and Green Economy Act and Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan, was to facilitate the increased development of renewable energy generating facilities of varying sizes, technologies and configurations via a standardized, open, and fair process.

FIT Program Focus on Community Ownership

Through the various versions of the FIT Program, there were several successive sets of rule changes, rate changes, and changes in the mechanisms and processes for the awarding of contracts. Many of the changes in the rules and the contract process increased the likelihood of receiving contracts for community projects structured through co-operatives.

Economic Development Model

With changing rates and rule sets, evolving technologies, and increased pressure on project economics it was, and remains, difficult for an individual Project owner to fully inform themselves of the rules and technology in order to design and construct an optimized, contracted, Renewable Energy Facility. Taking a portfolio approach to project development gives CED Co-op access to higher levels of expertise and reduced risk.

Our future

Challenging the Economics for Small Projects

Modern, free-market energy generation projects come at steep upfront costs. Residential solar projects cost anywhere between $25,000 and $40,000 depending on their location, material selection, installation method and electrical design. Federal Grants are relied upon to make them prosperous, while provincial energy subsidies (Ontario Electricity Rebate) challenge the payback. Navigating this as a homeowner can feel burdensome over the investment horizon when they just want to make a difference. The CED Coop is focused on projects at scale. Through larger projects our members and investors accelerate change.

The Co-operative is investigating new, alternative ways that green technology, such as heat pumps, can simplify and improve the economics of electrification for individuals. Projects such as solar, energy storage and electric vehicle chargers all function better with scale and create better opportunities for investing with impact. 

Changing the Landscape for Energy

From the latest IESO planning report (Annual Planning Outlook 2021) all sectors including mining, transit, buildings, agriculture, etc will continue to drive heavier demand on our electricity system. For example, the advent of electric vehicles (passenger, public buses, school buses and heavy equipment) will add up to 20% demand year over year for the next decade. This is an unprecedented increase in our planned consumption of power. The CED Co-op is positioning itself to focus on technologies that support the increasingly evident challenges our province faces. We will support organizations most impacted by these systemic shifts through Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) or equipment leases.

Growing Our Membership

We want to build on our success. In order to continue to expand our impact, we are focusing on growing our membership. The Co-operative is investing in improving our online presence to make it easier to become a member and engage. Currently in development, our modernized member services portal is designed to simplify the process of joining and investing with the Co-operative. This new securities platform will enable the Co-operative to verify and trade carbon credits, while providing streamlined self-serve investment functionality for our members.

Our team

CED Co-op is governed by our Board of Directors, comprised of industry insiders, consisting of up to 11 directors elected by the membership. The current board members are:

John has been involved in business operations through work with Martin Mills Inc. and the pet food divisions of HJ Heinz and Del Monte including responsibilities for logistics, operations, risk reduction, and sales. He holds a BSc and has attended Risk Reduction Management programs from the Chicago Board of Trade (now CME). He strongly believes in the attributes that non-carbon energy produces. He has major investments in three Green energy programs: CED Coop; Saturn Wind Energy; and Lithium Battery Storage. He is also active in real estate.

Dale Brubacher-Cressman is one of the founders of CED and has served in several leadership roles. He is one of the owners of solar developer Vigor Clean Tech and served as its President until May of 2016. As an engineer / executive, Dale previously spent 17 years at BlackBerry (formerly Research In Motion) helping build the company from start-up to a globally recognized corporation. As a Program Manager and reporting directly to the Chief Operating Officer, Dale oversaw all aspects of product development including product and market definition, hardware and software development, quality assurance, new product introduction and manufacturing. In addition to his work in the solar industry, Dale has served on the board of directors for a number of organizations, including Kindred Credit Union, Aeryon Labs, Sustainable Waterloo Region and Lucid Energy Technologies.

Steve has an extensive background in solar PV, both technical and project development. He has built and designed his own installation from scratch and was also responsible for EPC execution of the FRV/SunEdison Apex Solar development in North Las Vegas, NV. Steve has also held several general management positions, both with ABB and with Plexal Group in Perth, Australia. At Plexal Group, Steve reported to the board of directors and interacted extensively with them including navigating the business through the Global Financial Crisis and managing cash reserves very tightly. Typically, Steve is part of the front-end development of opportunities and he brings strong risk management/mitigation skills and to ensure that once secured, the opportunity can be delivered with predictable and desired outcomes. Steve has been a licensed Professional Engineer (POE) since 1988 and completed his MBA in 2012, while working full-time. He likes the challenge of a difficult problem and brings his diverse background and collaborative nature to his assignments.

Al is a senior executive with broad-based experience in business, international development, and education. He has spent over 4 years as CEO at International Development Enterprises and 8 years at Palliser Furniture, including time in the role of Senior VP Operations. Al has also worked at Canadian Foodgrains Bank, Trojan Technologies, Menno Travel Service, and MCC.
Blair is a practicing lawyer who, in addition to his Law degree, also holds an Honours degree in Economics. He has worked in the financial services industry for 25 years as in-house counsel. Currently, he holds the position of Vice President, General Counsel, Regulatory and Strategic Initiatives at The Co-operators, one of the largest co-operatives in Canada, with a focus on mergers, acquisitions, and regulatory matters. With experience in strategic direction, consensus building, and understanding regulatory requirements, Blair has learned to think outside the box to reach business objectives. Additional Board experience includes serving as Corporate Secretary to the Board of Manulife Canada Ltd. Blair has be serving on the CED Co-op Board since 2016.
Paul is a recent retiree of the Waterloo Region District School Board where he taught Mathematics, Computer Science, and Business Studies, at the secondary level, for 28 years. Prior to that, he worked for 7 years in the Information Technology sector with the Prudential Assurance Company. He holds two degrees; the first, a Bachelor ’s Degree in Mathematics majoring in Accounting and Computer Science, from the University of Waterloo, and the second, a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Western Ontario. Blending the technical and the interpersonal has been the cornerstone of Paul’s career. Whether it be leading teams of programmers in software project development, or inspiring students in a classroom setting, he is at home working both individually or in a group setting and is an experienced public speaker. Paul co-owns a microFIT system with his wife, Kim, and drives an electric vehicle, which speaks to his belief in, and dedication to, the future of renewable energy. He has been an investor in the Co-op since its inception and, now that time permits, is excited at the prospect of working on behalf of the members of the Co-op and being part of the Co-op’s direction going forward. He looks forward to offering his experience and dedication which he believes can be of value to the board and the membership.
Brian is the President of solar developer VCT Group Inc. He is a former branch manager of Kindred Credit Union (formerly Mennonite Savings and Credit Union) and a Fellow of the Credit Union Institute of Canada. Brian is one of the founding members of CED Co-op and has served as the President of the organization since its incorporation in 2012. He also currently serves on the board of the Federation of Community Power Cooperatives.
Ryan is a co-owner of Crescent Ridge Services and he sits on its board. They have increased their sales from average of $1M to $1.5M to $4M-6M per year in just 3 years and they have a goal of $10M for FY 2022. A significant amount of his management teamwork consists of providing ideas; reviewing and collaborating to come to the best solution/idea for the business and their customers. On the financial side Ryan takes care of all financial aspects; budgeting for capital expenditures, managing operational expenses and optimizing wherever possible as well as dealing with HST and Payroll remittances to CRA. Project budgeting and pricing is a major part of his role at Crescent Ridge – project costs are usually between $1,000 and $1,000,000. He also provides a ROI to his customers which outline estimated payback for the solar. From his previous roles at BlackBerry, Ryan has a wealth of knowledge on reverse logistics/RMA, manufacturing, product, and hardware engineering, regulatory and compliance and certification, Lean/Six Sigma/Kaizen and electrical testing. During his time at VCT Group he grew from a person who had no idea how solar panels and associated power electronics worked to managing over 8MW of PV projects and becoming a technical leader when it came to “how solar worked”. His every day goal was and still is to ensure that his projects were working and performing for his customers. He took the trust that CED put in VCT Group to build the projects very seriously and always did his best to put the projects first. Ryan is a very pragmatic and considers himself a commonsense person when it comes to issues of finance and investment details.

Chris brings more than twenty-five years of advocacy experience and leadership in Canada and globally. Chris has a MA in Political Science from Carleton University in Ottawa. Chris worked for Mennonite Central Committee for some 10 years, including 4 years as Director of the Ottawa government relations office, where he engaged Parliamentarians and government officials on global and national issue. In 2001, he joined World Vision (WV) Canada as a Policy Advisor on Peacebuilding and Conflict, where he supported child-rights focused advocacy on countries and regions of conflict and fragility. Chris became Director of the WV Canada Advocacy and Education team in 2007, leading 20 policy and advocacy staff, and collaborating with WV colleagues and civil society partners in Canada and globally. In 2011, Chris joined the World Vision International Advocacy team as Director of External Relations and is now Senior Director of Public Policy. In this role, Chris provides overall strategic leadership to World Vision’s global public policy development on issues such as violence against children, child rights, climate and food security. He also leads World Vision engagement and/or has been a public and media spokesperson at the G7, G20, COP27 and at the UN. He has also taught undergraduate courses on advocacy at Conrad Grebel University College. Chris has been on several Boards of Directors including with Project Ploughshares (representing MCC), Citizens for Public Justice and Geneva-based Child Rights Connect representing World Vision International. Currently, Chris is responsible for a team of 5 and a budget of close to US $1.2 million (staff and project budgets.) In relation to the work of CED Co-op, Chris and his wife Loral were relatively “early adopters” of the Ontario Micro-fit program with a 2.5Kw/h PV south facing installation plus 2 solar hot water panels on their house. He is dedicated to doing what he can in his personal and professional life to address issues related to climate change and climate justice. Chris as a Board member would be someone with strong strategic skills, and many years of experience developing and delivering advocacy/lobbying plans directed at policy makers in Canada and globally. He has a strong passion for addressing climate justice and believes this should include choices citizens are making through their investments, their homes, cars and other consumer purchases that have the power to create broader societal change. He would be honoured to be considered for a role on the Board of the CED Coop. 

After having worked in the energy service industry since 2007, Martin is ready and willing to bring his enthusiasm and collaboration to CED Co-op. He boasts experience from a cyclical and challenging industry, managing to uphold profitability and growth throughout. Such organizations include BlazeWest Utilities, Waste Treatment Solutions, Blaze Properties, and most recently, Centurion Canada Rentals and Services, sitting as the VP of Operations. He is intrigued by the Co-op’s securities structure that allows for community membership, investment and prosperity. Martin brings a rich background of diverse business development experience and is eager to apply that to the Co-op.
Christine spent 27 years working for Client Services, Collections and Audit for CRA specializing in Income Tax. She audited many business operations both small and large, analyzing financial data and business patterns. She was a CRA Regional Trainer, teaching tax law and auditing skills in Southern Ontario for many years. She says, “Analytical thinking is one of my strongest attributes. I also developed the ability to question and to challenge interpretations, suppositions, etc. but always by being respectful. Asking probing questions is what an auditor does.”  She adds that she is interested in continuing as a board member with CED Co-op because she believes in what this business investment opportunity represents, i.e. by putting Renewable Energy to work. She notes that they have solar panels on their roof, an electric car, as well as a PHEV.