We can save $34 billion while lowering our climate impact

The Ontario Government has issued a Climate Change discussion paper that recognizes the urgent need for climate action and strongly suggests putting a price on carbon. That's the good news. The bad news is that pricing carbon will likely still be opposed by many interests despite the clear evidence of an unravelling climate. But simply by improving the efficiency of both our electricity and gas use and importing low-cost water power from Quebec instead of rebuilding the Darlington Nuclear Station, we can offset the impact of a carbon price with huge cost savings. Read our new factsheet,  Achieving our climate goals while lowering our energy bills, and provide your own comments on the province's plan.

We need a public review of any Bruce Power deal

We need a public review of any Bruce dealThe Independent Electricity System Operator is deep in secret negotiations with privately owned Bruce Power for the re-building of the aging reactors at the Bruce B Nuclear Station on the shores of Lake Huron. This proposed deal would be the costliest ever signed between the Ontario government and a private company — running anywhere from $60 - $111 billion. Yet despite falling electricity demand and no shortage of safer and more cost effective options, Ontario’s Minister of Energy is refusing to send any deal to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) for a full public review. Our new pamphlet lays out five reasons we need an OEB review of any deal with Bruce Power to see if it makes any sense for Ontario.

Order your copies today!

Our climate needs smarter natural gas use

Burning natural gas is Ontario’s second largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (after transportation).In 2012, natural gas consumption was responsible for approximately 30% of our GHG emissions. But despite the Ontario government's commitment to putting Conservation First when it comes to using natural gas (and electricity), the Ontario Energy Board has released a gas conservation framework with many serious flaws, including:

  • Arbitrary conservation program spending caps
  • No incentives for utilities to maximize their conservation efforts
  • The removal of incentives for large industrial users to reduce their gas use

Our new factsheet examines the flaws in the OEB's approach and looks at how this plan can be better aligned with the Government's efforts to meet greenhouse gas emission targets while saving Ontario homes and businesses money

Quebec electricity would save Ontario consumers $14 billion

Quebec water power The OCAA's newly released review of the province's Long Term Energy Plan (LTEP) points to a number of opportunities and problems:

  • Ontario can save more than $14 billion by importing electricity from Quebec rather than re-building the Darlington Nuclear Station
  • Transmission system upgrades needed to take full advantage of Quebec water power could be paid for in less than one year from the savings generated by cancelling Darlington
  • Despite promises to the contrary in the LTEP, the province is still assuming 93% of the risk of the Darlington project, which is almost certain to run over budget
  • The Ontario Power Authority is negotiating a secret deal with Bruce Power that could be worth as much as $111 billion, yet the government has refused to commit to a public review of any agreement to ensure it is in the best interest of Ontario consumers and taxpayers.
  • The OPA's six-year conservation budget is less than one-fifth of the cost of a rebuilt Darlington Station despite the fact that power from Darlington will cost 2-4 times more than power saved through increased efficiency.

Ontario's Long Term Energy Plan: A One Year Review English | Francais

Press release: English | Francais

Electricity demand down, economic growth up

Falling demand and a rising economy

Today, Ontario is producing 21% more goods and services for every kilowatt hour of electricity consumed than it was in 2005.  Since the depths of the 2008-09 recession our economy has steadily recovered while electricity demand has remained largely flat. Better technology, such as LED lighting -- which has now leaped ahead of even fluorescent lighting in its energy efficiency -- computerized pumps and motors that adjust to workloads, and more efficient computer data centres are examples of the technologies driving this trend.

But Ontario continues to under invest in energy efficiency and remains fixated on spending tens of billions of dollars to re-build increasingly unnecessary nuclear reactors.  For every dollar the province has budgeted for energy conservation efforts in the next six years, it is planning to spend at least $5.40 on re-building the Darlington Nuclear Station. 

To learn more about these two trends, read our new factsheets:

High cost jobs

This new factsheet looks at the cost of creating jobs in the auto manufacturing sector compared to creating jobs through the rebuilding of the Darlington Nuclear Plant. For government, there is no question which approach offers greater bang for the job creation buck.

High cost jobs

A picture is worth billions

Ontario's electricity options: A cost comparisonThe graph in our newly revised factsheet explains in one image why Ontario should be pursuing water power imports from Quebec instead of re-building our aging nuclear reactors. Combined with energy efficiency, Quebec imports are far cheaper than nuclear electricity, even under Ontario Power Generation’s most optimistic estimates. Even if we lock into a long-term contract at double the spot market price for Quebec water power, we will still come out ahead by billions of dollars. It really is that simple.

Greater electricity trade can help both Ontario and Quebec and save us $1 billion a year

Quebec Ontario benefitsOur new report makes it clear that there are enormous benefits for both Ontario and Quebec that would flow from increased cooperation on electricity. Ontario could import power from Quebec at a fraction of the cost of rebuilding the Darlington Nuclear Station. Quebec could increase both its export prices and volumes and diversify its export markets. Quebec could import Ontario wind power in winter to help meet its peak demand. Ontario could use Quebec wind and water power in summer to help meet peak demand. Both provinces will end up with lower debt thanks to either lower system costs or increased revenues. It's a win-win deal just waiting to happen.

Read the press release | Read the report | View the infographic | Read economist Jeff Rubin's take on the advantages of Quebec imports

OraclePoll shows that Ontarians overwhelming support making a deal with Quebec

Read more about what a deal can do for Quebec: Higher Profits, Lower Bills: A New Electricity Strategy for Quebec | En francais


Nuclear generation up, electricity costs up

nuclear generation up, costs up The amount of power supplied by nuclear plants in Ontario has increased by 44% since 2003. Over the same period, the wholesale cost of electricity has also risen by 50% — just more evidence that high cost, high risk nuclear power is no bargain. With OPG requesting a 30% price increase for its nuclear plants, in part to start paying for the costly rebuilding of its aging Darlington Nuclear Station, there has never been a better time to negotiate a much lower cost power import deal with Quebec. In fact, a recent poll shows that Ontarians would prefer to import hydro power from Quebec than rebuild Darlington even if power from Darlington cost the same as power from Quebec!

Find out more in our new factsheet


Celebrating the coal phase out

Goodbye King Coal!On Feb. 27th, the OCAA was joined at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto by 300 guests to celebrate Ontario's groundbreaking coal phase out. It took 17 years and a relentless effort to eliminate the single largest source of air pollution, toxins and greenhouse gas emissions in Ontario, but we did it! At the event we presented "Clean Air and Climate Champion Awards" to Bruce Lourie, president of the Ivey Foundation, Dr. Ted Boadway from the Ontario Medical Association, the Toronto Atmospheric Fund, and Premier Kathleen Wynne. We also heard from Premier Kathleen Wynne, who committed to continued action to address smog and climate change.View event photos.




Why Ontario needs to put conservation first (and nuclear last)

The Ontario Government has released a new Long Term Energy Plan. The good news is that plan includes a commitment to put conservation first for both electricity and natural gas in Ontario and opens the door to importing low-cost water power from Quebec. The bad news is that it continues to call for spending tens of billions of dollars on re-building unneeded nuclear reactors.

LTEP submission

Read our submission on how Ontario can develop a cost effective and efficient electricity system


Putting Consumers and Conservation First

Read our submission on how Ontario can really put conservation and efficiency first

We need solutions that fit

Put the hammer down:
Why nuclear power is a poor fit for Ontario


Making energy efficiency work for Ontario's economy

How Ontario can create thousands of new jobs, reduce government deficits and grow its economy by embracing energy efficiency

An Energy Efficiency Strategy for OntaroOur report looks at how five key actions can deliver enormous finanacial benefits for Ontario while also helping our climate and our environment.

Read the Executive Summary

Read the full report

Read the accompanying analysis of the economic impact of increased energy efficiency produced by the Centre for Spatial Economics, one of Ontario's top economic forecasters.

Conservation vs. New Supply factsheet: This factsheet summarizes the Ontario Power Authority's spending on new supply sources compared to its spending on efficiency and conservation methods.


The case for phasing out nuclear power

OCAA Chair Jack Gibbons on how Ontario can phase out nuclear power and why we should import water power from Quebec:



Darlington Re-Build Could Cost $21-35 BillionDarlington Re-Build Could Cost $21 to $35 Billion

OPG is seeking permission from the Ontario Energy Board to raise its rates commencing March 2011 to start paying for the Darlington Re-Build project. According to OPG, its proposal to extend the operating life of Darlington by 30 years will cost $8.5 to $14 billion.  However, as this OCAA report notes, every single nuclear project in Ontario’s history has gone over budget and the actual costs of Ontario’s nuclear projects have been 2.5 times greater than the original cost estimates.

Read the English report  |  Read the press release

Powerful Options: A review of Ontario's options for replacing nuclear powerPowerful Options: A review of Ontario’s options for replacing aging nuclear plants

This new report discusses how hydro-electricity imports from Quebec and the development of the Lower Churchill Falls Project in Labrador can replace Ontario’s aging nuclear. In fact, it finds that Ontario has a number of viable options for replacing nuclear that are available now at a lower cost than building new nuclear reactors.

Read the report  |  Read the press release

Ontario's nuclear debtOntario's nuclear debt

Billions still owing on debt racked up by old Ontario Hydro on costly nuclear projects

Read the factsheet and find out just how much you owe and how we can stop it from happening again.

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