Member Update: August 2013

ZooShare receives FIT contract!

The past 2-3 months have been incredible for ZooShare. Your co-op successfully reached three key milestones: 1. On July 3, we received word from the Ontario Power Authority that we were one of the lucky recipients of a Feed-in Tariff contract offer (extra thanks to all our members that signed FIT declarations last Fall!); 2. On June 11, ZooShare executed an agreement with one of Canada’s largest grocery retailers to provide organic waste from GTA-based grocery stores; and 3. We submitted our Offering Statement to the Financial Services Commissioner of Ontario (FSCO), for approval to begin selling Community Bonds.

Now we’re ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work – there is much left to do to make our dream of community-owned biogas at the Toronto Zoo, a reality. Over the next 6 months, ZooShare will be focused on getting Renewable Energy Approval from the Ministry of Environment, completing the Connection Impact Assessment with Toronto Hydro, and selling our Community Bonds to people like yourself, who share our vision and love of poo.

Annual General Meeting

On June 13, ZooShare held its AGM at the Verity Club in Toronto. It was great to meet those of you came out, and we had some amazing candidates step forward as nominees for the two Board seats up for election.
We are very pleased to welcome Tom Ferencevic and welcome back John Nicholson to the Board. Tom brings a wealth of experience working in Ontario’s biogas industry as a developer and technology supplier, while John continues to provide strong support to our approval process and feedstock negotiations as an environmental engineer who’s been working in the waste management industry for 16 years.

That night, we also passed two by-law revisions: 1. To expand the Board to 7 members upon receipt of FIT offer; and 2. To formally give the Toronto Zoo a permanent seat on the Board. The second was important for us to recognize that the Zoo is much more than a landowner and poo supplier to us, but also a key part of the reason ZooShare exists in the first place. Their continued leadership and perspective as one of the top conservation organizations in the world is a valuable asset for us.

RRSP Eligibility

Many of you have asked about if and when our bonds will be RRSP/RESP/TFSA eligible, and unfortunately, the process for allowing bonds to be held in registered accounts is not going as smoothly we had hoped. Our friends at SolarShare, who have been selling bonds since last year, have been working hard to get the banks and credit unions to understand the bonds and their eligibility. However, to date, none of these institutions has agreed to allow registered account holders to hold Community Bonds. We will continue working on this issue and communicate any changes to you, but for the time being, our bonds will not be eligible.

If you are looking for an alternative tax efficient investment strategy, we suggest you consider putting the bonds in your children’s names. That way, taxes on interest payments are kept to a minimum and your kids can tell their friends that poo paid for their education! Please contact us (and your tax professional) if you’d like to learn more.

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