The IESO will temporarily stop accepting applications to the microFIT Program effective immediately while new program provisions are prepared for microFIT version 4, which will be launched in July.
This suspension has been initiated due to irregularities within the application process that suggest Applicants and third-party representatives are not following proper procedure when making legal declarations.
To address the issue, the IESO has also announced that they will be making changes to the microFIT Rules to include the requirement to have the Applicant Declaration Prescribed Form be notarized (or similarly confirmed) before it is submitted. Further details on these changes have not yet been released but will be spoken to at Solar Ontario 2016 in Niagara Falls.
The IESO anticipates that the revised microFIT Rules (microFIT 4.0) will be implemented in July 2016, at which point the microFIT Program will re-open to accept new Applications.
CanSIA is taking Application irregularities and consumer protection very seriously and has initiated a Consumer Protection Forum to help the IESO address these issues and ensure that customers have the information they need to make informed decisions regarding installing solar systems.
In the coming weeks, CanSIA will be releasing the first of several new documents/policies regarding consumer protection: A guide for consumers who are deciding to purchase a solar system. This guide will include information on typical financing and contracting arrangements, questions to ask solar professionals, and important information to consider when making the decision to go solar.
This next version of microFIT will include a new requirement for a commissioned or notarized declaration form from all applicants and not just those that designate representatives. This additional requirement has been developed to help ensure that all applicants understand the program and process, have access to their My microFIT Home Page and follow the Program Rules.
Other revisions for version 4 will include:
1) A new fuel type/price category will be created for solar photovoltaic (PV) rooftop applications that are 6 kilowatts (kW) or smaller. The current 2016 price for solar PV rooftop will apply to projects larger than 6 kW.
2) In-series metering will be allowed if permitted by the local distribution company.
3) Projects will be required to be connected within 180 days of receiving an Application Approval Notice.
4) Provisions will be introduced related to payments if a microFIT contract is in breach.
Current microFIT applicants should check their My microFIT Home Page for the status of their application. Existing applications will continue to be processed.