Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Figuring out PIN Numbers for OPA FIT and MicroFIT Applications

For those of you trying to complete OPA FIT applications here is a handy bit of information.

Property records are public information, but access to them is antiquated. When applying to the OPA for a feed-in-tariff (FIT) application you need to provide the legal description of the property. This is something like "Plan 54 -Portsmouth Village -Part Block 181, Can 1, Part Lots 78-88 Inclusive, Part Lot 144, Lots 120-143 Inclusive, Lot 24 & Part of Gardiner SI.", in the case of the West campus of Queen's University.

The easiest way to get this information (that I've found so far) is to use Teranet's excellent property search tool. The kind ladies of the City of Kingston municipal registrations office showed me this tool. Since that date, I discovered that you can access this tool online. Simply create an account here: Teranet Express. If you know the property owner, such as "Queen's University", you can search by name and you only need to know the county where the property is located. This is a big time saver.

Best of luck!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Fuel Efficient Car Purchase for 2011

I just purchased a car. I spent a bit of time on the road for my work (what others have told me is an inordinate amount of time). As I work in renewable energy and am a sustainability advocate, to walk the talk I wanted and I feel I need to drive the most sustainable ride that I can. My finding, a Ford Fiesta 2011 with its 6 speed automatic transmission. I really wanted a Honda Civic C/NG that runs on natural gas and my second choice was a Jetta TDI. The TDI was 10k more and although I love the engineering of that diesel engine, it is diesel and the premium was too high for me to digest. The Civic is too tough to source and CNG is too difficult to find in a lot of the places that my work has been sending me. That I hope is my next vehicle. CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) is an obvious choice in North America where it is cheap, plentiful and less polluting than oil (even when fracked from shale, relative to bitumen sands). A CNG in combination with regenerative braking would be a killer car for energy geeks like me. I did not consider a number of cars that others point to, largely because I did not like the aesthetic or design of those other cars (like the Yaris, for example). The Hondas are good, but just not as good as the Fiesta with the Super Fuel Efficiency package. It also helped that as an employee at Johnson Controls, I get a "Ford Partner" discount, so that tipped me over to Ford. The spreadsheet that I used to analyze this can be found here:

Ian's Green Car Comparison Sheet

This spreadsheet shows my evaluation price, the price I determined that factors in fuel efficiency, looks, size and resale.