Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Understanding Smart Meters - ENWIN

Compliments of www.cameronpaine.com

Smart Meters are Here

As part of a provincial initiative to encourage energy conservation and help Ontario consumers manage their electricity costs, ENWIN is now installing Smart Meters throughout Windsor. The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has directed energy providers, like ENWIN, to install Smart Meters in all Ontario homes and small businesses, encouraging the development of a province-wide "culture of conservation". As Windsor's energy provider, ENWIN is mandated to complete local Smart Meter installations by early 2011.

Everything Stays the Same

It is important for customers to realize that everything will remain the same, following your Smart Meter Installation: An ENWIN employee will still come to read the meter, EnWin bills will still look the same, and electricity charges will still be calculated in the same way as before. Eventually, the province is expected to switch over to a new rate structure called Time-of-Use (TOU) pricing. But for now, only the appearance of the meter will change.

TOU Pricing is NOT in Effect

Smart Meters are here, but Time of Use Pricing isn't. Not yet. You will not automatically move to time-of-use rates once your smart meter has been installed. Provincial legislation requires ENWIN to install Smart Meters as one step towards conserving energy and building for the future. Smart Meters will be installed this fall - but that will NOT have an immediate impact on how you are billed for your electricity. ENWIN customers will be billed differently ONLY after the Province requires us to move to Time of Use billing - likely some time in 2012. When a firm date is set, ENWIN will contact customers directly, and make sure you have all the information you need to benefit from the change. At the present time you will not notice any difference in your billing.

ENWIN Respects and Protects Your Privacy

As we move forward with Smart Meter installations, remember that Time of Use pricing is not yet in effect. In the future, when the Province requires ENWIN to move to this new system, Smart Meters will help customers reduce their energy costs by offering clear information about much energy is used at specific times of day. How and why you consume energy will remain, as always, private. ENWIN will ensure you are aware of all changes before they occur, and we thank you for helping Ontario build a brighter future.

Quick, Efficient Installation

Installation only takes a few minutes. A representative from ENWIN's contractor, Olameter, will knock on your door to inform you that they are there to install your smart meter. Your power will be interrupted briefly, while the old meter is exchanged for a new Smart Meter. If you are not home, the representative will complete the installation and leave a door hanger to inform you that your Smart Meter has been installed. Customers may find they need to reset digital clocks and other electronic devices, following the installation.

Look for the Olameter Logo

ENWIN has contracted with Olameter Utility Solutions to install smart meters in the Windsor area. Customers are asked to look for the Olameter logos on installers' vehicles and ID tags. Olameter representatives will not ask to see your utility bill, and you will not be required to sign anything.

Reliable and Secure

Smart meter installations are now underway, as part of the Ontario government's mandate to create a "culture of conservation", and build a reliable, secure and healthy energy future. When the Province requires ENWIN to move to Time of Use pricing - likely some time in 2012 - EnWin's Smart Meters will record frequent, accurate meter readings. This will allow customers to take advantage of lower energy prices, whenever possible throughout the day. ENWIN is using the knowledge gained by front runners in the Smart Meter installation process, to ensure your Smart Meter is reliable and secure.

The Smart Energy Future

When TOU pricing comes into effect in Windsor, energy providers will be required to vary prices for electricity according to demand levels at the time of use, with higher prices being charged during peak demand periods and lower prices during mid-peak and off-peak periods. This pricing structure is intended to encourage consumers to think more about how and when they use electricity, and move their consumption away from more expensive times of the day.

Smart Meter, Smart Consumer

Electricity bills will be much more precise, based on the hourly readings taken and sent by the Smart Meter. And "smart" energy users will be part of a new program provincial program that will reduce peak demand, and lessen stress on Ontario's electricity system.


Time-of-use (TOU) Prices

Time-of-use pricing is changing effective May 1, 2011. (Prices subject to change every 6 months)
Based on typical residential consumption patterns, the estimated TOU bill impact is an increase of about 3.8% on the total bill, or $3.96 per month, for residential consumers who use 800 kWh of electricity a month.
It is expected there will be approximately 3 million customers on TOU billing by June 2011, with more being switched to TOU billing over the summer and through the fall.



10 Smart Meter Lane

Take a tour of 10 Smart Meter Lane to see how you can better manage your electricity costs when Time-of-Use (TOU) pricing comes into effect. This interactive tool shows how running appliances at different times of the day or week can impact your electricity bill.

 

New Home Buyer Tarion Protection

New Home Buyers


If you're considering purchasing a new home, congratulations! It's an exciting and rewarding process.
A new home may also be the most significant purchase you ever make. In addition to the financial commitment, there are a number of lifestyle and home design options you may need to consider.
That's why it's so important to do your homework and gather as much information as possible about your potential new home before you sign the Agreement of Purchase and Sale.
To help prepare you for your purchase, we've created Top Ten Tips for New Home Buyers. It's a step-by-step list that provides research ideas, financial and legal resources, as well as practical maintenance advice. Together these tips will go a long way to ensuring that you're very happy with your new home.

Tarion provides important protection before and after your new home purchase

When you buy a new home or condominium in Ontario, you enjoy the benefits of a comprehensive builder warranty.
To learn more about this warranty, you can preview or print a copy of our concise, easy-to-read brochure entitled "Warranty Coverage for New Homes in Ontario". You can also order a copy of this brochure.
Your new home warranty begins before you even move in. Once you provide the down payment for your new home, it's protected. You also have a right to compensation if your builder delays the closing of the sale without giving you proper notice. See Understanding Deposit Protection and Understanding Delayed Closings and Occupancies to learn more.
Before you take possession of your new home or condominium, your builder will walk you through a pre-delivery inspection (PDI). Tarion provides a PDI Checklist to help you ensure that this critical inspection is thorough and complete.
After moving in, you're entitled to a 1 Year, 2 Year and 7 Year warranty against defects in work and materials. This warranty comes with certain obligations, so it's important to understand the statutory warranty process.
Protecting your new home warranty also requires that you properly manage the systems in your new home. Tarion offers tips on Maintaining Your Home to help protect your most important investment for years to come.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Understanding Delayed Closings and Occupancies Windsor Real Estate

Understanding Delayed Closings and Occupancies for Freehold Homes and Condominiums


Compliments of www.cameronpaine.com
freehold home and high rise condo
Under the delayed closing and delayed occupancy warranty, your builder guarantees that your home will be ready for you to move in either by a date specified in the purchase agreement or by a date that has been properly extended if circumstances occur that delay the home's completion. In many cases, your builder will be required to compensate you if a delay occurs.
For more information about delayed closings and occupancies, including Addendums and Statement of Critical Dates calculators, please see below.


Freehold Buyers

Delayed Closing Protection
To learn more about Delayed Closing protection, click on the link below that corresponds to the signing date of your purchase agreement:
Delayed Closing Addendums
If your new freehold home's purchase agreement was signed on or after July 1, 2008, click on the link below that corresponds to your type of closing to download an addendum:
However, if project viability conditions are permitted and included in your purchase agreement or the deal is conditional on the sale of the purchaser's existing home, you must use one of the forms below:
Statement of Critical Dates calculator
To create an Addendum with a Statement of Critical Dates, click on the link below:
To view or download a Statement of Critical Dates paper calendar, click on the link below:

Condominium Buyers

Delayed Occupancy Protection
To learn more about Delayed Occupancy protection, click on the link below that corresponds to the signing date of your purchase agreement:
Delayed Occupancy Addendums
If the purchase agreement for the first unit sold in your condominium project or phase was signed on or after July 1, 2008, click on the link below that corresponds to your type of closing to download an addendum:
However, if the deal is conditional on the sale of the purchaser's existing home, you may use one of the forms below:
Statement of Critical Dates Calculator
To create an Addendum with a Statement of Critical Dates, click on the link below:
To view or download a Statement of Critical Dates paper calendar, click on the link below:

Tarion New Home Warranty Protection Windsor Real Estate

Compliments of www.cameronpaine.com

This section is intended to help new homeowners understand what's included in the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act (the Act) and what to do if a warranty problem arises.

The Act outlines the warranty coverage that builders are required to provide to their customers. 

Coverage under the Act includes deposit protection, protection against defects in work and materials, protection against unauthorized substitutions, and protection against delayed closings or delayed occupancies without proper notice. For condominiums, warranty coverage also includes common/shared areas of the building.

The aggregate maximum warranty coverage for new homes and condominium units is $300,000*. The maximum coverage for condominium common elements is $50,000 times the number of units, to a maximum of $2.5 million.

Most issues related to the Statutory Warranty are resolved between builders and owners without the intervention of Tarion. When necessary, Tarion will help homeowners and builders interpret the limits of the Act, and will intercede to protect consumers when builders fail to honour warranty obligations.

* Tarion increased the aggregate maximum warranty coverage provided under the One Year, Two Year and Major Structural Defect warranties to $300,000 for homes with a date of possession on or after July 1, 2006. This increased coverage amount applies regardless of when the purchase agreements or construction contracts in issue were entered into. If the date of possession of a home is prior to July 1, 2006, the warranty coverage under the One Year, Two Year and Major Structural Defect warranties will continue to be as follows: a) $100,000 if the purchase agreement or construction contract for the home was entered into before September 1, 2004; and b) $150,000 if the purchase agreement or construction contract for the home was entered into on or after September 1, 2004.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Windsor Essex Property Tax Rebates For Commercial and Industrial Buildings

Compliments of http://www.cameronpaine.com/

Windsor Essex property tax relief for vacant commercial and industrial buildings will be provided to property owners through rebates that are issued by municipalities. This rebate program is governed by section 442.5 of the Municipal Act and Ontario Regulation 325/01.

APPLICATION FORMS






LASALLE – contact municipality





Windsor Essex REBATE: types of properties that are eligible for rebates, the application procedures, the method for calculating rebates, appeal mechanisms, and key deadlines.

WINDSOR ESSEX PROPERTY THAT IS ELIGIBLE FOR A REBATE

To be eligible for a rebate, a building or portion of a building must satisfy the conditions described below.

Buildings that are Entirely Vacant

A whole commercial or industrial building will be eligible for a rebate if the entire building was unused for at least 90 consecutive days.

Buildings that are Partially Vacant

A suite or unit within a commercial building will be eligible for a rebate if, for at least 90 consecutive days, it was:
  • unused; and
  • clearly delineated or physically separated from the used portions of the building; and
  • either capable of being leased for immediate occupation, or
  • not capable of being leased for immediate occupation because it was undergoing or in need of repairs or renovations or was unfit for occupation.
A portion of an industrial building will be eligible for a rebate if, for at least 90 consecutive days, it was:
  • unused; and
  • clearly delineated or physically separated from the used portions of the building.

Exclusions

Seasonal Property:
Businesses that operate on a seasonal basis are not eligible for a rebate for the seasons they are closed.
Leased Property:
Buildings or portions of buildings that are vacant but are leased to a tenant are not eligible for a rebate.
Vacant Land Sub-Class:
Buildings that are included in a vacant land sub-class (e.g. new buildings that have never been occupied) are not eligible for a rebate.

WINDSOR ESSEX APPLICATIONS -- CONTENTS AND PROCEDURES

Property owners (or their authorized representatives) must submit an application to their local municipality in order to receive a rebate. Application forms may be obtained from local municipal offices.

Deadline for Submitting Applications

The deadline to submit applications for a tax year is February 28 of the following year. (For example, for the 2001 tax year, the deadline to submit applications is February 28, 2002.)
However, if a property owner receives a notice of omitted assessment from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) after a tax year, the deadline to submit an application for a rebate is 90 days after the date of issuance of the notice of omitted assessment.

Number of Applications

Property owners may submit a maximum of two applications per property per year. Specifically, they may submit either:
  • one application in respect of all vacancies that occurred on a property during the entire tax year; -- or --
  • one application in respect of the vacancies that occurred during the first six months of the year and a second application for vacancies that occurred during the last six months of the year.

Contents of Applications

At a minimum, rebate applications must contain the following information:
  • name of property owner (and name of owner's representative if the application is made by an authorized agent on behalf of the owner);
  • municipal address of property;
  • roll number of property;
  • dates of vacancy;
  • description of vacant portion of property (suite number and floor number or description of location within building); and
  • size of vacant area in square feet.
The municipality or MPAC may contact an applicant to request further information to assist in verifying eligibility or identifying the vacant area.

Processing Applications

Applications will be processed through the following steps:
  1. Property owner or authorized representative submits an application to the local municipality.
  2. Municipality forwards a copy of the application to MPAC.
  3. MPAC determines the assessed value that is attributable to the vacant area.
  4. MPAC notifies the municipality of the value of the eligible vacant property.
  5. Municipality calculates rebate and notifies property owner. Rebates may be issued as a credit against an outstanding tax liability or through direct payment to the property owner.

WINDSOR ESSEX AMOUNT OF REBATES

Calculation

Rebates will be calculated using the following formula:
[value of vacant area(1)/assesed value of whole property(2)]*[taxes levied on whole property for the year(3)]*[number of days of vacancy(4)/total number of days in year(5)]*30% or 35%(6)=Rebate
Notes to Calculation Formula:
  1. The assessed value of the vacant area will be determined by MPAC.
  2. The assessed value of the whole property does not include portions of the property that are exempt from taxation or portions that are in a sub-class for excess land. In a mixed-use property, the assessed value of the property refers to the value attributable to the portion of the property that is in the same property class as the vacant portion.
  3. The taxes on the whole property do not include taxes attributable to portions of a property that are in a sub-class for excess land. In a mixed-use property, the taxes of the whole property refer to the taxes attributable to the portion of the property that is in the same property class as the vacant portion.
  4. Number of days of vacancy refers to the number of days that the property met the eligibility criteria within a tax year.
  5. Total number of days in year will be 365 except in leap years when it will be 366.
  6. The percentage will be 30% for commercial property and 35% for industrial property unless a municipality has passed a by-law to apply a common percentage to commercial and industrial vacancies between 30-35%.

Sample Calculation:

Key Facts - Hypothetical Commercial Property:
  1. Value of vacant unit = 80,000
  2. Assessment of whole property = 800,000
  3. Taxes on whole property for the year = $40,000
  4. Duration of vacancy = 120 days (in a single tax year that is not a leap year).
( 80,000 / 800,000 ) * $40,000 * ( 120 / 365 ) * 30% = Rebate of $394.52

Recalculation following Change to Assessment or Taxes

After a rebate has been issued, if a property's assessment is subsequently altered through a reconsideration, an appeal, or an application (under sections 39.1, 40 or 46 of the Assessment Act), or if the taxes of the property are subsequently reduced (under sections 442 or 443 of the Municipal Act), the rebate will be recalculated and the municipality will notify the property owner of any consequential tax adjustments.

WINDSOR ESSEX APPEALS

Property owners who disagree with the amount of the rebate that is calculated by the municipality can appeal to the Assessment Review Board (ARB) within 120 days after receiving notification of the rebate amount from the municipality.
As well, if a municipality fails to process a rebate application within 120 days after the deadline for submitting applications (or within 120 days after the owner has provided all of the information required in support of the application, whichever date is later), the owner may appeal to the ARB to ask the Board to determine the amount of their rebate entitlement.
Appeals to the ARB must be submitted in writing and must be accompanied by the appropriate fee. Details about appeal forms and filing fees can be obtained from the ARB at:
Assessment Review Board
250 Yonge Street, 29th Floor
Toronto, ON M5B 2L7
Phone: 1-800-263-3237 or (416) 314-6900
Fax: (416) 314-3717
Web Site: http://www.arb.gov.on.ca

PENALTIES

A person who knowingly makes a false or deceptive statement in an application for a rebate is liable, upon conviction, to a fine of double the amount of the rebate that the person sought to obtain through their false or deceptive statement.
For the purpose of verifying a vacancy rebate application, municipalities have been given similar rights as assessors to request information and obtain access to premises. A fine of $100 per day may be imposed upon a property owner for failure to comply with a municipality's request for information.

FURTHER INFORMATION

For additional information about the process for submitting rebate applications, timing of payment of rebates, or calculation of rebates, please contact your local municipal office.


For general information about this rebate program, you may contact the Ministry of Finance .
Phone:
English: 1 800 263-7965
Fran├žais: 1 800 668-5821
Teletypewriter (TTY): 1 800 263-7776
Web Site:
English: http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/index.htm
Fran├žais: http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/fr/index.htm
Note The information in this document is provided for general reference purposes only. For complete information or for precise interpretation, please refer to section 442.5 of the Municipal Act and Ontario Regulation 325/01.