Good news for solar!
Property Tax Treatment of Renewable Energy Installations
On January 4, 2012, Ontario Regulation 282/98 under the Assessment Act was amended to provide greater clarity and introduce new rules governing the property tax treatment of renewable energy installations. The amendments apply to facilities that generate electricity using solar energy, wind energy or anaerobic digestion of organic matter. The amendments take effect as of January 1, 2011.
SUMMARY OF TREATMENT
The assessment and tax classification of property will not change due to the addition of a renewable energy installation on the rooftop of a building.
For ground-mounted installations, the property tax treatment will depend upon the size and location of the facility as well as who is conducting the generation, as outlined below:
Generation as Ancillary Activity, Not by a Corporate Power Producer:
The following rules apply where energy generation is conducted by a person who is not ordinarily in the business of electricity generation, transmission or distribution, and where the generation is ancillary to another activity on the same property.
- Small-size ground installations with a generation capacity up to 10 kW will not experience an increase in assessment or a change in tax classification.
- Medium-size ground installations with a generation capacity over 10 kW and up to 500 kW will be taxed based on the surrounding land use (e.g. residential, farm, multi-residential, commercial).
- Large-size ground installations with a generation capacity over 500 kW will be taxed based on the surrounding land use for the proportion of assessment up to 500 kW, and at the industrial rate for the proportion over 500 kW.
− For example, if a 560 kW wind tower is located on multi-residential property, the assessment of the wind tower and associated land would be apportioned 89 per cent to the multi-residential tax class and 11 per cent to the industrial tax class.
Energy Efficiency Installations
Ontario Regulation 282/98 was also amended to provide clear policy regarding energy efficiency and energy conservation installations that use renewable energy technologies. As a result, the assessment of properties with an active solar heating or cooling system or a ground-sourced geothermal heating or cooling system will not be increased as a result of that improvement.