Having an impact with your portfolio:You have questions and we have the answers.
What is impact investing?
Are ethical mutual funds considered an impact investment?
Investing with the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative
How does the Co-operative work?
What types of investments does OREC offer?
Who can invest?
Where can I find your offering documents?
How does OREC generate revenue?
What are the administrative and project operation costs?
How does OREC cover the costs of project development and raising capital?
What are the usual rates of return and years of pay-back expected from OREC projects?
Investing through an RRSP and TFSA
What are the RRSP options?
What are the TFSA options?
What is the recommended preference share investment to hold in and RRSP?
What are my options when dividends are issued or capital is returned within a registered account?
- Continue earning a return by purchasing as little as one share for $500 (when available) without incurring fees. You can top up by making a new contribution to your account in the event that you do not have $500 in your account.
- Purchase shares in other co-operatives that employ the services of CWCF. Contact CWCF for a list of such options.
- Make a partial withdrawal from you CWCF account. You will be charged $50 by CWCF for this option and you will be required to claim the withdrawal as income for that taxation year.
To withdraw funds your CWCF account, you will need to make a request, in writing, to the Canadian Workers Co-operative Federation (CWCF) who administers your self-directed account. This request needs to include your name, account number, current mailing address and the amount you wish to withdraw. You should also state you are aware of the required Canadian Revenue Agency withholding tax as well as the CWCF withdraw fee ($50 partial withdraw/$75 to close your account) which will be taken from the amount you are requesting prior to the cheque being sent to you. Questions can be directed to: Josh Dyke, RRSP Program Manager #1 – 41 Aberdeen St., Kentville, NS B4N 2M9 Tel: 902-678-1683 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.canadianworker.coop
Can I transfer the cash in my CWCF account to a registered account held by another institution?
What happens when my RRSP matures at 71 years of age?
If you currently hold Preference Shares in an RRSP that is coming to maturity, you have three options: Option 1: Transfer the shares into a RRIF with an eligible institution, an option that is not readily available but will likely be in the next couple of years. Option 2: Withdraw shares from the RRSP, pay income tax on the withdrawn amount, and maintain the now unregistered shares in OREC. Option 3: Sell shares back to OREC or another member, transfer the funds out of CWCF to an RRSP account at another institution that can convert the funds into a RRIF. On the other hand, cash accumulated from dividends and return of capital in your OREC RRSP can be transferred to a RRIF account with another institution as described above.
Investment through Investment Notes
What are Investment Notes?
When will Investment Notes be available?
Can Investment Notes be held in an RRSP and TFSA?
How does snow affect the production of the Co-operative's projects?
Snowfall and snow coverage is a significant factor when it comes to solar power. With that said, the Eastern Ontario region is a very viable region for solar production, with more than adequate levels of solar irradiance annually. When developing projects, the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative has followed the industry trends for rooftop solar, maximizing summer production while seeking to keep installation costs and building impact low. This, however, means that production during the winter months can be marginal.
The Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative evaluates every potential project prior to beginning the construction process. As an innovative organization at the forefront of solar development in the region, we are always looking to develop more accurate and robust models for solar production in Eastern Ontario. Region-specific research was limited prior to the Co-operative’s early installations.
In March of 2018, it came to the attention of the Board of Directors that the modelling for some of the projects in the Co-operative’s portfolio underestimated the impact that snow coverage would have on existing project generation. This new information has been taken into account for all projects under construction. Fortunately, the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative included a contingency line in its 2017-18 budget to account for unknown situations, thus spring/summer solar production is as expected, this will not bear a significant impact on returns to investors. Financial models moving forward will be adjusted to account for this new information.
An amendment to the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative’s sixth and most recent offering statement has been included outlining these changes, how the Board of Directors has addressed them, as well as how it could impact the organization going forward.
What are the warranties on the projects?
What is the proces for renting roof space and re-roofing?
What happens to the panels and revenue after the 20 years?
How does the joint ownership of OREC's FIT projects work?
What is net metering?
Net metering allows you to install solar panels on your roof or property for your self-consumption. It is the next step in the evolution of Ontario’s solar market.
How does net metering work?
Electricity generated by a solar array is used by the property its built on. It allows consumers to produce power; for their own consumption. During the summer, when an array produces more power than the property uses, the excess power is sent to grid, and in return the property receives credits based on the value of that electricity. These credits can then be used at night or during the winter when days are shorter.
What is the cost of the solar system?
The Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative can finance the project through investments from its members. To date, we have financed 17 projects (as part of the Feed-in Tariff program) in Eastern Ontario entirely through member investment.
How long can generation credits be kept for?
Generation credits must be used within 11 months from when they are generated.
What is the minimum roof or property size for net metering?
The minimum space required for the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative to finance a solar array is 10,000 square feet.
Who are your ideal clients?
Institutional buildings, where ownership is not likely to change over the course of the 20-year power purchase agreement. These are properties like community centres, museums, government buildings, schools, and churches. Ideally, these institutions have a significant energy demand in the summer months, when solar energy production is at its peak.
How much does this cost?
The only costs you will incur as a property owner are a setup charge ($30), a monthly service charge ($19/month) and, in some circumstances, an administration charge.
Will this impact my fixed or demand charges?
Net metering credits can only be applied to the per-kilowatt-hour charge on your bill, unless peak occurs when the sun is shining.
What kind of contract is involved in net metering?
Net metered solar projects can be installed, owned and operated by a third party, in this case the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative. The electricity is then sold to you, the property owner, through a 20- or 30-year power purchase agreement (PPA).
What would I save on my monthly bill?
This varies from property to property, however, our modelling shows an average cost saving of 7-15% per year. Cost savings are divided with the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative. We use our portion of these cost savings to pay back our investors.
What are the risks associated with installation?
The Co-operative takes on the risks of installation, including insurance.
Would this reduce my carbon footprint?
Yes! While you are not able to claim the renewable carbon certificates (RECs), our modelling shows a reduction of over 25 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year. This amounts to a reduction of over 500 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over the lifetime of the contract.
What if I have to fix my roof while the solar panels are on the roof?
Your roof should be in good condition before array. The Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative will perform an assessment to determine the viability of your roof for a solar array.
Will the solar panels damage my roof?
No. The Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative installs panels at a 10ᵒ slope, so roof-penetrating anchors are not required. Panels will be weighed down to ensure safety.
Where do you get your solar panels from?
We purchase our panels from Canadian Solar. Their headquarters are in Guelph, and they produce their panels in Canada and China.
Could this be installed on a residential home?
Installing solar panels on residential homes is not cost-effective for the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative. We do encourage residents of Eastern Ontario to become members of the Co-operative, and to invest in net metered projects. Learn more.
How do we get started?
You will need to provide us with recent data of your energy consumption – ideally, hourly utility data for the most recent full year. If you don’t have that, we can also work off of your hydro bills.
Is this part of the FIT program?
No. The Feed-In Tariff program is in the process of wrapping up. Net metering is separate from the Feed-In Tariff program. This is the next step in Ontario’s energy transition.