As part of their ongoing commitment to safety and customer satisfaction, Enbridge Gas Distribution has changed the number of days given to make repairs or corrections to a B tag from 35 days to 42 days. They are making this change to harmonize processes with other natural gas utilities in Ontario and provide a consistent experience for contractors, appliance installers, certificate holders and builders.
Enbridge will begin to use the new 42 day warning tag and process on Monday, August 13th, 2018.
As communicated previously, faxes are no longer accepted. Technicians can simply take a picture with their phone or tablet and email it directly to Enbridge. This is more reliable, trackable and avoids delays in processing.
Tariffs introduced by the United States on Canadian steel and aluminum that sparked counter tariffs by the Canadian government can only add up to one thing for Canadian wholesalers and contractors – higher costs on just about everything. In fact, some products are being hit with tariffs going both ways – those that are made in the U.S. from Canadian steel and then shipped to Canada. Some water heaters fall into this category.
Far from helping the U.S., these tariffs are pushing up prices on that side of the border too. Matt Michel, CEO of Service Roundtable, a U.S. contractor consulting group, notes that almost all prices will rise because virtually every industry that uses steel and aluminum will be affected.
"The (Donald) Trump administration is ignoring history as they downplay the impact of the tariffs across the broader economy," he remarked in an article in the May 28 issue of the U.S.-based Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration News (www.achrnews.com).
Canadian manufacturers, if they are using Canadian steel and aluminum, may be somewhat protected on this side of the border. However, they also export to the U.S., so the tariffs probably won't help. The U.S. and Canadian economies are so interwoven that anything that affects Canada affects the U.S. and vice versa. The George W. Bush administration introduced steel tariffs in 2002 and dropped them 18 months later due to thousands of jobs lost in U.S. manufacturing. However, the current U.S. administration tends to ignore things like history, logic, established practices and protocols, facts, etc. Donald Trump and his colleagues believe fundamentally that trade agreements are detrimental to the U.S. – despite all the evidence that shows otherwise. That makes it almost impossible to predict where this will end up.
We are looking into just how much these price increases might be on different types of plumbing and HVAC equipment and supplies. Contractors need to be able to explain this to their customers. And, in some cases, it might make sense to stockpile certain pieces of equipment where a significant price increase is coming, if it hasn’t already.
The president's behaviour, including the bizarre attack on our prime minister that was so deeply offensive to every Canadian regardless of political persuasion, causes considerable doubt that these issues can be resolved through negotiation. Business large and small on both sides of the border faces a rough ride until, at the very least, the next U.S. presidential election on Nov. 3, 2020. It's not going be easy.
Over 2,300 elementary, secondary and post secondary students and apprentices are expected to compete in this year’s Skills Ontario competition in the hopes of earning a spot to compete in the National Skills Competition, to be held in Edmonton June 4-5.This year’s Ontario competition will take place May 7-9 at the Toronto Congress Centre. The largest competition of its kind in Canada, Skills Ontario will host competitions in 68 trade and technology categories from across the construction, manufacturing, transportation, service, and technology sectors. Students compete for gold, silver, and bronze medals, monetary awards, and job offers in select contest areas.
Gold medalists are eligible to represent Team Ontario at the Skills Canada National Competition.
Young women’s conference
Skills Ontario is also part of the movement to bring more women into the trades, endeavoring to change misconceptions about the skilled trades being dirty, low-paying, and generally unsuitable to female workers.
Throughout the year, the organization and its partners host Young Women’s Career Exploration Events at locations across Ontario that bring education, hands-on experience, and mentorship together. This event series culminates in the Young Women’s Conferences that will be held at the Skills Ontario Conference. The largest event of its kind in Canada, the Young Women’s Conference is expected to attract over 2,000 young women from across Ontario.
“Young women need to know that the trades and technologies offer many opportunities that can lead to bright, stable and successful futures,” said Ian Howcroft, CEO of Skills Ontario. “Skills Ontario looks forward to continuing to work with our partners from government, industry, and education to increase the momentum for gender equality, and a strong and diverse workforce.”
The additional incentive amount offered within the Save on Energy Heating and Cooling Program offered by the IESO on behalf of the Green Ontario Fund will be ending. As such, the incentive structure first introduced in July 2017 will take effect. The Save on Energy Heating and Cooling Program measures that were not funded by the Green Ontario Fund will continue to operate according to the current program rules. As a Save on Energy Heating and Cooling participating contractor, this means that:
You should cease any sales or promotional efforts that reference the GreenON incentive top-ups, and revert to offering the Heating and Cooling incentive values introduced in July 2017 and referenced in Appendix A of the Heating and Cooling Contractor Participation Agreement. You should also remove any references to the GreenON incentives from your website and in other promotional materials.
Rebate applications already submitted will continue to be processed with the GreenON incentive top-up according to eligibility criteria.
New rebate applications will not be processed with the GreenON incentive top-up without proof of a firm commitment between the customer and a Save on Energy Heating and Cooling participating contractor being in place on or before June 19, 2018. While installations will need to be complete by August 31, 2018, contractors and customers have until September 30, 2018 to submit these rebate applications to the IESO.
Ontario is investing proceeds from its carbon market to help researchers, companies and families reduce their greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and fight climate change in Ontario through several innovative programs.
Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science, was joined by Chris Ballard, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, at the Clean Tech showcase at Ontario Centres of Excellence's Discovery conference in Toronto to highlight a range of programs that people and businesses across the province can access to fight climate change.
Technology Demonstration — supports the development and commercialization of innovative low-carbon technologies through demonstration in real-world settings. There are 10 approved projects, including one that uses artificial intelligence to optimize energy storage systems in buildings and reduce GHG emissions
Technology Validation — funds proof of concept or prototype projects from companies or academic organizations, helping to seed game-changing technologies and get them to market faster. There are 12 approved projects, including a technology that enhances aerodynamics to increase the efficiency of wind turbines.
Ontario is also launching two programs through the Green Ontario Fund (GreenON) to help people and businesses improve energy efficiency and save money while fighting climate change:
GreenON Small and Medium Businesses — a technical expert will offer businesses a no-cost energy audit starting this summer and recommend energy-saving measures for buildings and operations, as well as opportunities to apply for funding to implement these measures.
GreenON Solar Rebates —rebates for Ontario families and businesses to install solar panels and solar energy storage. Households and contractors can sign up for additional information alerts.
Ontario also announced a TargetGHG-funded project through the Collaborative Technology Development Program. The project involves energy storage developer NRStor with technology supplier Hydrostor and research partners at the University of Waterloo, who propose to build a new facility in Goderich to provide the Ontario electricity grid with more energy storage.
Supporting good jobs, helping companies innovate and fight climate change are part of the government's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and free preschool child care from 2 ½ to kindergarten.
A total of $28.1 million has been allocated for the Low Carbon Innovation Fund: $12.9 million for the Technology Demonstration stream, and $15.2 million for the Technology Validation stream.
Through the Climate Change Action Plan, Ontario has committed up to $1.7 billion over three years to support a wide range of programs under the Green Ontario Fund.
TargetGHG is funded through proceeds from Ontario’s carbon market and administered by Ontario Centres of Excellence. It is designed to help Ontario reduce its GHG emissions by helping large industries adopt leading edge technologies and supporting entrepreneurs developing creative new solutions.
The new TargetGHG project in Goderich is supported by $1 million from the Ontario Centres for Excellence, for a total project value, including partners’ cash and in-kind contributions, of $7,195,422.
Ontario has selected two venture capital fund managers through the Ontario Capital Growth Corporation (OCGC) to help clean tech companies get the capital they need to grow their business and create jobs. OCGC has invested $20 million in Yaletown Partners’ Innovation Growth Fund and has committed $35 million in Emerald Technology Venture’s Canadian Cleantech Fund.
Ontario has the fastest-growing clean tech sector in Canada, with $18.8 billion in revenue, 5,000 companies and 130,000 employees.
The Climate Change Action Plan and carbon market form the backbone of Ontario's strategy to cut greenhouse gas pollution to 15 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, 37 per cent by 2030 and 80 per cent by 2050.