The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO), Gord Miller,
released his 2014 Annual Energy Conservation Progress
Report to the Legislature on January 13, 2015. Conclusion:
we're making progress on energy conservation, but there is so
much more that could and should be done. Energy conservation is a
critical step towards a less fossil-fuel reliant future, not to
mention lower energy bills.
Under section 58 of the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993, S.O. 1993,
c. 28, Ontario's Environmental Commissioner is to report
annually to the Speaker of the Assembly on the progress of Ontario
in making more efficient use of electricity, natural gas, propane,
oil and transportation fuels. Under the EBR, the report is also to
describe the progress of the province in meeting targets, among
other things, and to identify any legal or other barriers that
prevent the province from moving forward towards more efficient use
of electricity. The overall purpose of the report is to provide an
independent review of the effectiveness of Ontario's energy
conservation laws and policies. This latest report covers the
policy developments of 2013 and 2014.
According to the ECO's press release issued in connection with the
report, Ontario's conservation programs "need more
Mr. Miller praised the province's development of a Long-Term
Energy Plan (LTEP) that put "Conservation First." Under Ontario's
LTEP, conservation strategies will be considered before building
new generation or transmission facilities. The ECO's report
indicates that the province has selected "conservation targets
[that] are aggressive when compared against actual conservation
performance from 2005 to 2013." Ontario's LTEP expects
conservation to offset approximately 70% of demand growth between
2012 and 2032. A good portion of these energy savings are expected
to come from new appliance standards and changes to the Ontario
In terms of where Ontario needs improvement, the ECO's press release states the following:
The vast majority of local
electricity distribution utilities will miss their target for peak
reduction. About half are expected to miss their target for
reducing overall consumption.
The government has eliminated all of
the interim electricity conservation targets that were used to
measure the progress towards meeting its overall goals.
The Conservation First philosophy is
not backed up with legal authority, as was done with previous power
system plan directives.
The government has reduced the
involvement of the public in reducing peak electricity demand.
The ECO's full report can be viewed or downloaded here.
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