The Ontario Power Authority (the "OPA") received a
direction from the Minister of Energy to coordinate, support and
fund the delivery of certain programs under the Conservation First
Framework (the "Framework") over the next 6 years,
beginning in January 2015.
The purpose of the Framework is to keep Ontario on track to
achieving the province-wide conservation and demand management
("CDM") target of 30 terawatt hours (TWh) by 2032 that
was set pursuant to the Ontario Government's 2013 Achieving
Balance: Ontario's Long-Term Energy Plan, which is discussed
here. The "short-term" goal established under the
Framework is a 7 TWh (or 7 billion kilowatt hours (kWh)) reduction
in energy consumption by December 1, 2020 via the implementation of
programs aimed at reducing the draw from the electricity grid.
The Minister likewise issued a direction to the Ontario Energy
Board (the "OEB"), instructing the OEB to amend the
license of each licensed electricity distributor
("Distributors") to add a condition that specifies the
Distributor will, between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2020,
make CDM programs available to its customers and will do so in
relation to each customer segment in its service area.
In accordance with the Framework, the OPA will work with
Distributors to design, deliver and administer a core set of
Province-Wide CDM programs and Local and/or Regional CDM programs
to make available to customers in its licensed service area. The
OPA, in consultation with Distributors, will allocate the 7 TWh
among Distributors and give each Distributor a CDM target to
achieve reductions in electricity consumption for all customer
segments in that Distributor's licensed service area.
Distributors will also be encouraged to team up with neighbouring
local distribution companies to develop regional CDM plans that
will meet regional CDM targets.
Distributors will be required to submit their CDM plans to the
OPA for approval by May 1, 2015 and, in turn, the OPA will provide
Distributors with long-term, stable funding to implement CDM
programs. Most of the currently available province-wide saveONenergy
programs will continue to be available throughout 2015 to allow for
a seamless transition to the new framework.
CDM is defined, and will be considered by the OPA, to include
activities aimed at reducing electricity consumption, such as
geothermal heating and cooling, solar heating and small scale (less
than 10 MW) behind the meter customer generation. However, the
direction issued by the Minister states that CDM programs should be
considered to exclude those activities related to a
Distributor's investment in new, or replacement of existing,
infrastructure; activities promoted through a program or initiative
undertaken by the Ontario Government or the OPA (such as the FIT
Program); and activities related to the price of electricity or
general economic activity.
The progress of electricity savings will be evaluated annually
and findings published in a report which will set out contributions
to the target achieved through Province-Wide CDM programs, Local
and/or Regional CDM programs, demand response programs and programs
for transmission connected customers. In addition, the OPA will
undergo a formal mid-term review no later than June 1, 2018 and
will conduct an achievable potential study for electricity
efficiency in Ontario every 3 years, with the first study to be
completed by June 1, 2016.
For an overview and helpful timeline of the implementation of
the Framework, see
To facilitate a streamlined and transparent implementation of
the Framework, the OPA, Distributors, natural gas utilities and the
Distributors Association, set up a Conservation First Advisory
Working Group ("CFAWG"). The CFAWG's goal is to
ensure the Framework provides value for customers and the
electricity system, while meeting the requirements of the
Minister's direction and the needs of Distributors and natural
The OPA will be hosting an information webinar on the Framework
on Tuesday, August 26 at 2:00 p.m. (ET). More information can be
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The Government of Alberta recently announced a number of policy changes that will impact the Alberta Electricity Market, composed of its generators, transmitters, distributors, retailers, electricity consumers and wholesale electricity market.
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