Today Ontario’s Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli announced that the Government of Ontario will pursue all cost-effective energy conservation and efficiency measures before investing in new higher-cost power plants. This is a victory for consumers and common sense.
Making electricity use more efficient is the cheapest way to meet our power needs. Energy efficiency measures, with an average cost of 3 cents per kWh, are a much better bargain than rebuilding the aging Darlington Nuclear Station — at a cost of 19-37 cents per kWh — or rolling the dice on keeping the end-of-life Pickering Nuclear plant operating.
Ontario has huge energy efficiency potential – we use 50% more energy per person than our neighbours in New York State. That means the best way to lower bills and greenhouse gas emissions is to go all out on improving efficiency. Minister Chiarelli’s new approach of maximizing efficiency efforts is a refreshing contrast to the government’s old approach of arbitrary quotas on conservation spending to protect the market share of Bruce Power’s and Ontario Power Generation’s nuclear reactors. Now, we need to make sure the province walks its talk by putting in place strong policies and incentives to ensure that utilities make improving their customers’ efficiency their No. 1 priority.
Please send Minister Chiarelli a quick note here thanking him for moving forward with this important commitment to putting conservation and efficiency first.
You can also read the Government of Ontario’s new report: Conservation First: A Renewed Vision for Energy Conservation in Ontario here .