Know Your Rights and Responsibilities

The microFIT Program provides a contracting process for small-scale renewable energy projects. Successful microFIT participants enter a 20-year Contract with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) and are paid a guaranteed price for the electricity they produce and deliver to the province’s electricity grid.

While the microFIT Program was designed to encourage broad-sector participation, including home owners and community level projects, a microFIT Contract is a commercial agreement between the program participant and the IESO.


The following section is intended to provide both Applicants and Contract holders with helpful information and resources about their rights and responsibilities under the microFIT program.

Seek advice from appropriate legal or technical advisors

As a commercial agreement, program participants are solely responsible for the accountabilities and obligations agreed to under their microFIT Contract with the IESO. Program participants are also responsible for other requirements associated with their project that exist outside of the IESO microFIT Contract, including income tax, property tax, insurance coverage and others.

 

Please note that the IESO cannot provide advice to microFIT participants and the information below should not be interpreted as advice, legal, or otherwise. Program participants are encouraged to obtain their own independent legal, business or technical advice related to their rights and obligations.

Using Third-Party Service Providers

Under the microFIT Program, you are permitted to work with a third-party service provider to manage your Application for the program. Like any other service agreement, it is important to conduct all appropriate due diligence before executing any kind of an agreement. There are a number of important things to consider when using a third-party service provider, including:

  • Representative/third-party service provider may submit an application on your behalf only if the Representative and Applicant Declaration Package is signed by you (the Applicant) and submitted to the IESO.
  • The microFIT Contract is in your name, and as such, you are responsible and accountable for the rights and obligations that you have agreed to under the microFIT Contract with the IESO, and any actions required must be taken directly by you. 
  • A third-party service provider is not allowed to accept, amend, assign or terminate a microFIT Contract on your behalf. 
  • The microFIT Contract is a commercial agreement, and any agreements with third-party vendors or service providers are considered separate commercial transactions, not consumer transactions. This means that participants are unlikely to be covered by consumer protection legislation in their dealings with third-party vendors of services or materials. 
  • IESO is not a party to secondary contracts you may enter into with any third party service providers for labour, materials or services related to your microFIT contract with the IESO. These secondary contracts are not legally binding on the IESO and the IESO will not interfere in dealings between a microFIT participant and their third party contractor.

Learn more about using third-party service providers.

Managing your project information

The registration, application, contracting and assignment processes for microFIT are all web-based. It is important to keep your official contact information up-to-date at all times. The IESO will communicate with you exclusively through the primary email address or mailing address found in your microFIT Application or Contract. 

  • Please check that your contact information is correct and current. If you need to update your email address or mailing address as listed in your microFIT Contract, it can be done through an Online Change Notice from within the My microFIT Home Page.
  • Login credentials (e.g., username, password and answer to the challenge question) are important information for microFIT participants. If your application was submitted by a representative, you may contact the representative directly to obtain this information or you may contact the IESO at microFIT.Contract@ieso.ca to reset your login credentials.

Taxes

Under the microFIT Program, participants are paid a guaranteed rate for the electricity they produce in the form of generation payments. These generation payments may be considered revenue by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Even if participants are working with a Representative/third-party service provider, they are still responsible for all impacts to their income taxes.

  • If you have any questions about the potential tax implications of installing a microFIT project, we encourage you to consult an accountant or other tax specialist with knowledge about renewable energy projects. 
  • Applicants and contract holders for the microFIT Program may wish to refer to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website for additional information. 
  • The Canadian Revenue Agency has created a webpage with information regarding potential tax implications of owning a microFIT project: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/bsnss/thrtpcs/nt-ft/q1-eng.html
  • We also encourage you to contact the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) to discuss how your project may affect your municipal property taxes.   
  • The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) has created a website with information available on how having solar panels installed on your property may impact your property taxes.

Insurance

It is important to check with your insurance company to determine whether additional insurance coverage is required for your home or renewable generating facility. As a homeowner, you will likely be required to obtain additional insurance coverage.

  • Ensure your home or business insurance policy is up-to-date and covers your microFIT project. 
  • If a representative/third-party service provider provides insurance for the microFIT Facility, you still need to ensure that your home or business insurance policy provides you with the protection you need. 
  • The Insurance Bureau of Canada has developed some insurance tips for microFIT participants.

Selling a property with a microFIT Facility

It is important to know that microFIT Contracts do not automatically transfer to the new owner with the sale of a property. To successfully transfer a microFIT Contract from one contract holder to the next, the microFIT Contract must be assigned from the current Contract holder (Assignor or seller of the property) to the prospective Contract holder (Assignee or buyer of the property). 

  • The IESO does not charge a fee to assign a microFIT Contract, although there may be a fee to set up a Generator Account with some Local Distribution Companies
  • The assignment process is conducted online through the My microFIT Home Page and requires the cooperation of both the Assignor and Assignee.  
  • Read more about contract assignments.

Electrical Safety Authority (ESA)

Any renewable energy project that produces even small amounts of electricity can be potentially dangerous, creating the possibility of electrocution and fire hazards. It is important to take appropriate steps to ensure your project is safely installed on your property. 

  • All project installations require an inspection from the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) before they can be connected to the grid. You can contact the ESA at 1-877-372-7233 or learn more by visiting its website at www.esasafe.com
  • Before doing any work on your microFIT project, including disconnecting the solar panels to do roof repairs, always contact the IESO and your Local Distribution Company (the company to which you pay your electricity bill). 
  • Ensure that all electrical work required for your microFIT project is done by a licensed electrical contractor and if required, obtain an ESA Connection Authorization and/or an ESA Certificate of Inspection.

Summary