ABOUT CED CO-OP

Welcome to Community Energy Development Co-operative (CED Co-op) a renewable energy co-operative that generates clean green energy to sell back through the electrical grid at a profit and generate a return for our members.

CED Co-op has partnered with community minded businesses and together we have secured 29 FIT and 86 microFIT contracts from the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). Each contract is good for 20 years and has a fixed price. The fixed price allows us to generate revenue and provide our members with great investment opportunities in clean energy with excellent returns. We have built solar projects in Waterloo Region, the City of Guelph, the City of Greater Sudbury (the Town of Blind River), and the County of Wellington.

We currently have over 750 members and are growing strong. Membership is open to any person who lives in Ontario and is 16 years of age and older. As per the democratic principles of a Co-operative, each CED Co-op member pays $10 for one membership share which gives them one vote (only one share per member). Investment is open to individuals 18 years of age and older.

Join Community Energy Development Co-operative and support the development of renewable energy.

CED Co-op was formed by a team who have experience in renewable energy project development, having completed more than $12 million of solar projects in the province.

Vision

To provide superior returns on investments in renewable energy projects through effective partnerships between community and industry.

Mission

To make a positive impact on the energy industry in Ontario, providing stakeholder education, distributed generation and community participation.

Values

As a co-operative, CED Co-op is guided by the 7 Co-operative Principles that guide the operations of all Co-ops. As a developer of renewable energy projects, CED Co-op is guided by the principles of socially responsible investment.

Why Join CED Co-op

Why join Community Energy Development Co-operative? These are the top 4 reasons our members give when asked why they joined:

Return on Investment

The investment opportunities offered by CED Co-op are expected to provide consistent long-term returns. The returns meet the levels desired by professional investors.

Social Benefits

Support local development in your community, enabling projects to be built in your municipality. Communities with co-cooperatively owned renewable energy projects benefit from economic stimulus and growth opportunities for service providers, construction companies, and additional jobs in a growing industry sector.

Environmental Benefits

Your membership in CED Coop supports clean, renewable solar energy. You can take an active role in reducing climate change, provide cleaner air for future generations, and help end our reliance on dirty energy sources. As the use of renewables increases, the costs to develop the systems and produce power decrease. This is counter to the properties of many other energy sources, including fossil fuels.

Guide the organization

CED Co-op is a democratic organization where each member is entitled to attend meetings and cast one vote. Every member has an equal voice in guiding the operations of the co-op, which then partners with facility and landowners in project ownership and revenue sharing.

How to Join CED Co-op

All you need to do to become a CED Co-op member is send in a membership form and pay $10 for your lifetime membership share.

Follow our 5 easy steps and become a Community Energy Development Co-operative member.

Join now

Management

CED Co-op is governed by a volunteer board consisting of up to 11 directors elected by the membership. The current board members are:

John Brubacher - Director

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).

Dale Brubacher-Cressman, BASC, P.ENG – Director

Dale is an owner of solar developer VCT Group Inc. He previously spent 17 years at BlackBerry helping build the company from startup to major global corporation. Dale is also chairman of Mennonite Savings and Credit Union, serves on the board of several other companies and is a former director of Sustainable Waterloo Region.

Steven Chomyc, POE, MBE- Director

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.

Alvin Doerksen, MBA - Board Chair and Director

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 Groff - Secretary and Director

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.

Elizabeth Klassen - Director

Elizabeth has experience as a senior executive to various sized teams having worked primarily for not-for-profit healthcare and social service organizations. Liz has worked at House of Friendship, Tri-County Mennonite Homes and Waterloo Regional Homes for Mental Health. Previously Liz has been on the board of MennoHomes,and Mennonite Women Bi-National.  Liz has extensive knowledge of change management, strategic planning and is a strong advocate of servant leadership.

Ryan Parton - Director

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.

Dave Roewade, Director

Dave’s career has spanned 30 years working in the private, public, and non-profit sectors with almost 20 years involving an energy and climate change focus. He was a self-employed consultant with clients including the federal government, industry associations, post-secondary schools, and community groups. Dave worked within the municipal sector in Waterloo Region and Kingston developing and implementing strategic plans involving renewable energy, building energy management and fleet fuel efficiency along with corporate and community climate mitigation and adaptation plans. His broader experience includes sales, marketing and business development for small businesses, project management, fundraising, public speaking, and media relations, along with budgeting including some minor accounting. He is also a self-directed investor in the renewable energy and clean tech sector. Dave has a Masters in Environmental Studies, Diploma in Business Administration and has been a Certified Energy Manager since 2012 with the Association of Energy Engineers. He has served on the Board of Directors of People’s Car Co-op in the past and been a member of several other co-ops and credit unions since 1999. He believes that sustainability, at any scale, requires wide-spread cooperation akin to a barn raising attitude and has demonstrated this with a strong track record in developing collaborative partnerships.

Allan Sauder - Treasurer & Director

Allan retired following a 40-year career in international economic development, most recently serving as President and CEO of Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) for 16 years. He was responsible for moving forward the policies and directions of the Board of Directors for MEDA’s worldwide programs, providing overall direction, articulating vision, and goals, enabling and encouraging staff, ensuring availability of resources, monitoring progress, setting the tone for the working environment, and safeguarding assets. Allan was responsible for an annual budget of $40 million, assets of $30 million and a staff of 350 in more than 20 countries. He has prior work experience with the International Development Research Centre (project analysis), Mennonite Central Committee (handicraft production and marketing), and Home Hardware Stores Ltd. (warehousing and retail merchandising). He has lived and worked in Tanzania and Bangladesh and travelled to more than 70 countries.

Allan has served on many boards, including: Shalom Counselling lnc. as Treasurer (2019-present), Sarona MEDA Investments lnc. lSarona Global lnvestment Fund, Lancaster, PA (2000-2018), MEDA Trade Co. (1998-2015), Ten Thousand Villages Canada, (2004-2013), Erb Street Mennonite Church as Chair of Stewardship and Finance Committee (2008-2010), etc.

Brian Unrau, BED, MBA, FCUIC, CPA, CMA – President and Director

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.

Christine Weber, BA, Diploma in Accounting – Director

Christine spent 27 years working for Client Services, Collections and Audit for the 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 passionate about being a board member with CED Co-op because she believes in what this business investment opportunity represents: putting renewable energy to work. She notes that she and her husband have solar panels on their roof, an electric car, as well as a hybrid vehicle.

Why should I join the co-op?

Joining the co-op provides the following benefits:

  • The investment opportunities offered by the Co-op are expected to provide consistent long-term returns. The returns should meet the levels desired by professional investors.
  • By joining the Co-operative, you will be supporting local development in your community and enabling projects to be built in your municipality.
  • In joining the Co-op, you will be supporting the development of clean, renewable solar energy, taking an active role in reducing climate change and providing cleaner air for future generations.
  • CED Co-op is a democratic organization, and as such, each member is entitled to attend meetings of the Co-op. At these member’s meetings, each member receives one vote regardless of the amount of money they have invested in CED Co-op. Every member has an equal voice in guiding the operations of the organization. 
Who can become a member?

Membership in Community Energy Development Co-operative is open to individuals, who are residents of Ontario, 16 years of age or older. In order to invest in CED Co-op members must be 18 years of age or older. Corporations may invest in CED Co-op, but are not eligible for membership. 

How do I become a member?

Fill out the Membership Application form and sign the application to buy your member share. Once the board of directors meets to review and approve applications, membership is officially granted and a membership certificate is mailed to you. We are happy to help with filling out the forms to make the process as quick and simple as possible. You can contact CED Co-op using the contact form on this website, or feel free to email us at info@cedco-op.com , or you can call us at 1-855-274-6890.  

Why do you need my Social Insurance Number?

CED Co-op is a co-operative corporation that is registered with the Financial Securities Commission of Ontario and the Canada Revenue Agency. Because you are buying shares in the Co-op , the CED Co-op is required to gather this information so that any dividends or interest paid to you as a shareholder of the corporation can be properly reported. All member information is stored in a secured vault in the CED Co-op offices.

How much money do I have to put in?

The requirements of membership mandate that each member must purchase a minimum of one member share at a price of $10. This does represent the purchase of a share in a corporation (albeit a co-operative one) and as such it does represent an investment.

Our recommendation is that you read the investment subscription agreement and discuss any investments that you may wish to make, with a lawyer and/or an accountant.

Will I earn a return on my $10 member share?

Typically within co-operatives, member shares are held at their original value and are not paid interest or dividends. At this point, CED Co-op is not anticipating paying dividends or interest on the member shares.

Will I be required to put more money in?

No. We are only requiring the purchase of a single $10 member share from each person. Purchasing a membership share does not mean that you agree or commit to purchasing any further amount of shares or making any further investment in the Co-operative.

There may be further opportunities for investment in the co-operative, Co-op members will be given time to independently evaluate future investment opportunities at the time they are offered.

Do I have to go to any meetings?

Attendance at Annual General Meetings or member meetings is not required, however it is encouraged. Attending the meetings however; is an opportunity for you to provide input into guiding the operations of CED Co-op and see the updates on the status of the development projects.

Typically there have been one or two meetings a year. CED Co-op will do its best to provide electronic methods of attending meetings from distance, but you can only vote at the meetings if you are in attendance (electronic included), no proxies are allowed within the laws of co-ops.

Does joining the Co-op mean that you will put solar on my property?

No. If you are interested in having solar on your property or facility, that is something that we can explore with you, but at this time, joining and investing in the CED Co-op simply supports the contracts we have already received for the development of solar projects on properties that have already been identified separately from the membership process.

How do I learn more about solar power?

Check out our good friends VCT Group who are doing the installation for CED Co-op’s projects.

Can solar panels be recycled? What is the sustainability of their life cycle?

Solar panels are manufactured using few components: mainly aluminum, glass and silicon. Over 90% of a panel’s weight can be recycled.

Solar panels typically come with a performance warranty of 25-30 years, and as a result, the number of “spent” or end-of-life panels is so small that a major recycling industry has yet to be developed around solar panel recycling.

Just like all other e-waste, solar panels must be disposed of in an environmentally responsible way. Many solar panel manufacturers accept returned broken panels in order to reuse, reduce and recycle the panels properly. CED Co-op has also previously used electronics recyclers and toy manufacturers as recycling channels for broken panels on our systems.