Get back to using energy as efficiently as possible

Ontario was an early leader in developing programs that helped businesses and residents use power more efficiently with everything from super-efficient LED lighting and smarter motors to better insulation in homes.

Energy efficiency is the key to unlocking a renewable future

Tell the Ford Government to help people do the right thing by installing highly efficient heat pumps in their homes.

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These efforts cost just pennies per kilowatt hour and were much more cost effective than paying for power from generating plants or spending billions on rebuilding old reactors. They also saved businesses and residents money on their power bills, making them a huge win-win.

Now technology is opening up all sorts of new ways to save energy, particularly through smart controls that do everything from dimming lighting when no one is in a room to adjusting the output of motors depending on the job to be done. A particularly exciting technology is air source heat pumps. These function like big air conditioners that can operate in two directions: delivering heat in winter and cooling in summer. They are much more efficient than conventional resistance style (e.g., baseboard) electric heating and are quickly becoming an attractive alternative to gas furnaces and air conditioners.

The other great thing about efficiency is that it is a huge job creator that can boost employment everywhere in Ontario. Services to retrofit homes and businesses and make them more efficient are going to be in high demand as we seek to lower our emissions. Developing skills and technology around these services is a global economic opportunity.

Ontario has dropped the ball on efficiency

Despite the Ford government’s promise to lower electricity bills, it has ignored one of the most effective ways of doing this: deepening our energy efficiency efforts. Efficiency Canada notes the province is “losing leadership” on efficiency in part because of the revenue lost for driving efficiency efforts when the Ford government cancelled the carbon cap and trade program.

Efficiency Canada also notes that the province has withdrawn requirements to include EV charging infrastructure in new buildings and a program to expand EV charging infrastructure. EVs could also play a significant role in using power generation more efficiently and cutting the need to use gas plants to provide peak power through fast evolving Vehicle-to-Grid systems.

Ontario has cut funding for energy efficiency efforts in the electricity sector by 60% while continuing to throw billions of dollars at nuclear projects and planning to massively increase the output of climate damaging gas plants. This makes no sense for our environment or our economy.

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