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Ontario’s landmark Green Energy Act (GEA) was passed a year ago, on May 14, 2009, to bring us major changes in energy conservation and renewable energy. Big subsidies have ramped up renewable energy generation, through the Feed-In Tariff (FIT) and microFIT programs. Now it’s time for energy conservation.

All Ontario electric utilities must now implement ambitious Conservation and Demand Management (CDM) initiatives[1], such as time of day pricing, peak shaving, etc. (also called “negawatts”).  On April 23, 2010, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) and the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) received a Minister’s Directive issued by Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, Brad Duguid, to develop electricity conservation targets for Ontario’s local electrical utilities.[2] The conversation targets will require utilities to design and deliver energy conservation programs to their residential, commercial, institutional and industrial customers.[3] In total, electric utilities are to reduce peak demand and electricity consumption by 1,330 megawatts (MW) and 6,000 gigawatt (GWh) hours, respectively.[4] All electrical distributors in the province must achieve these targets over  four years, beginning January 1, 2011.[5] They may all find it challenging; even Toronto Hydro, which has been working on conservation for years, expects it to be tough to meet the targets on time.

More conservation programs will be coming soon, including energy conservation programs for Local electrical Distribution Companies (LCDs). [6]

by Jessica Yuan and Dianne Saxe

[1] Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure. (23 April, 2010). “McGuinty government establishing conservation targets for local electricity”, At http://news.ontario.ca/mei/en/2010/04/ontario-sets-stage-for-local-conservation-programs.html


[2] Minister’s Directive to the Ontario Energy Board (23 April, 2010), At http://www.powerauthority.on.ca/Storage/118/16586_minister_directive_20100423.pdf

[3] Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure

[4] Minister’s Directive

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ontario Power Authority. (2010). LDC Conservation and Demand Management Program, At http://www.powerauthority.on.ca/Page.asp?PageID=1224&SiteNodeID=248

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