Committee approves water bill increases, but challenged on green-energy program

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By Jon Willing, Ottawa Citizen, November 21, 2017

Proposed increases to water and sewer bills received the environment committee’s endorsement on Tuesday, but councillors spent several hours considering the funding of new green schemes as part of the city’s draft 2018 budget.

Public delegates zeroed in on the city’s Energy Evolution program and asked councillors to increase funding for the first phase.

As part of the program, a $500,000 “community energy innovation fund” would be launched in 2018 as part of the city’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 80 per cent below 2012 levels by 2050. The money would be slotted into the tax-supported budget as a grant program, with the possibility of adding surplus Hydro Ottawa dividends.

Environmental groups, like Ecology Ottawa, want to see $1.5 million spent on Energy Evolution next year, arguing $500,000 won’t do much to reduce GHGs.

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/committee-approves-water-bill-increases-but-challenged-on-green-energy-program