Earlier this month, we reported that the Ontario government’s new Conservation Framework would cap utility driven conservation efforts at a very low level. We based our response on a careful reading of the Minister of Energy’s conservation directive, but we have now received an important clarification from the Ontario Power Authority (OPA). According to the OPA, the directive actually requires that utility driven conservation programs will ensure that electricity consumption is 5% or 7 billion kilowatt-hours less than it is now by 2020, which is a tremendous step forward.
At the OCAA, we pride ourselves on our rigorous analysis of government programs and policies, so we are anxious to correct our original interpretation. This is one issue where we are happy to have been proven wrong.
The good news is that a 5% reduction target for 2020 is exactly the kind of strong target we need to drive our conservation efforts. I’d like to personally congratulate Minister Chiarelli for moving conservation forward in Ontario. We will, of course, continue to closely track the government’s progress on making Ontario’s utilities true conservation champions.