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Remarks - Environmental Commissioner of Ontario 2010 Annual Energy Conservation Progress Report

Wednesday, December 7th 2011 10:06:11am


Gord Miller, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario

2010 Annual Energy Conservation Report - "Managing a Complex Energy System -“ Results"

Legislative Media Studio, Queen’s Park

10:00 a.m., Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Check Against Delivery

Last spring I released the first volume of my annual energy conservation report to the Legislature entitled Managing a Complex Energy System - Volume 1. Today I am tabling the second volume of that report.  Volume 2 reports on the progress that was made toward achieving the numerous energy conservation targets set by the government or other public agencies since 2004. To my knowledge Table 1 in the report is the only comprehensive summary of these initiatives that exists in the public domain. And, of course, with any report on progress on targets you want to know how the government did overall.  The short answer is that they missed almost all their targets.

However, the targets were ambitious and despite the shortfall there was a lot of energy conserved by these programs. Peak electricity demand in the province was reduced by an amount equivalent to not having to build 3 new natural gas-fired peaker plants, and we all know how popular they are. And the results clearly show how cost effective energy conservation programs are. Because of these initiatives ratepayers have saved billions of dollars. The energy we conserve is the cheapest new energy source ratepayers can buy.

The only initiative that was actually completed was the installation of smart meters across the province. But, the time-of-use billing system smart meters support isn’t working everywhere yet. And I can’t report on is how much energy the time-of-use system is saving where it is working because the OPA has just started developing the methodology which will measure the impact of the time-of-use pricing.

I also report on the new targets that have been set to conserve electricity from this year to 2014. Most notable are the targets assigned to the Local Distribution Companies under the terms of their licence.  We are almost a year into this 4 year effort and no LDC has been able to get any local conservation programs approved by the Ontario Energy Board. Unless something changes it appears we are well on the way to missing those future targets too.

There are other things in the report. I talk about natural gas industrial conservation programs, electricity retrofit programs for commercial and institutional buildings and how OPA is spending its conservation fund. I also update the current energy consumption by fuel type and provide a short analysis of the trend in energy efficiency in the residential sector.