Ontario electricity and gas companies joining forces to help companies save money
Ontario’s largest electricity and gas distribution companies have delivered a joint “call to action” to Ontario’s largest businesses, saying the time to reduce the Province's overall energy load and invest in new energy conservation programs is now, according to a press release by the Toronto Hydro Corporation.
By Craig Pearson
At the “Energy into Action” event, the group of companies known as the Coalition of Large Distributors outlined a framework designed to help business customers reach their energy savings goals—announcing the launch of new energy conservation incentive programs that aim to provide gas and electricity saving opportunities, and seeking input on the improvement of existing programs, as well as the design of future energy conservation programs.
According to targets proposed by the Ontario Power Authority (OPA), by 2014 the Province’s largest electricity distribution companies must reduce electricity consumption by 3,900 gigawatt-hours and peak demand by 860 MW—roughly 66% of total electricity savings for the Province. Gas distribution companies are currently working with the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to establish their targets for 2012 forward.
“In recent years, the electricity and gas sectors in Ontario have demonstrated their leadership by putting energy conservation on the public’s radar screen and delivering significant energy reductions in the residential sector,” said Anthony Haines, President and CEO, Toronto Hydro Corporation. “We’re delighted to be in a position to help the Province move to the next level by offering a coordinated portfolio of energy conservation programs designed specifically to help business customers continue the momentum. It’s the first time in our history that we have worked so closely together to deliver such ambitious results.”
Details about the new programs, which are in the final stages of development and will be launched January 1, 2011, include: • A range of financial incentives for pre-approved energy conservation retrofits for commercial, industrial, retail and multi-residential projects, as well as for new construction projects • Incentives from $400 per kilowatt for lighting retrofits to $800 per kilowatt for cooling/heating improvements • Incentives of $0.20 per kW-hour of annualized savings up to a maximum of 70% of the total project cost • Demand reduction programs with one-time rebates as well as ongoing incentives each time businesses cycle down during peak times
Details about how these and existing energy conservation programs may be implemented are available through the Conservation and Demand Management/Demand Side Management offices at each local utility.
“This event marks the start of further collaboration on energy efficiency initiatives by Ontario’s largest natural gas and electricity utilities,” said Janet Holder, President, Gas Distribution at Enbridge. “Our nine organizations are coming together in a shared commitment to helping Ontario meet its energy conservation goals and helping businesses minimize their costs and environmental footprint at the same time.”
Commenting on the many benefits that accrue from businesses with focused energy conservation strategies, Energy into Action keynote speaker Tom Rand, Practice Lead, Cleantech and Physical Sciences at the MaRS Discovery District said: “The intelligent use of energy is a cornerstone of the low-carbon economy and the emerging smart grid. Clear value propositions allow energy users to squeeze more profit from their existing asset base, but also enable them to play a key role in the biggest challenge of our generation: that is, how do we transform our economy to a low-carbon diet?”
Energy into Action marks the first time that Ontario’s largest electricity and gas distribution companies have come together to help drive the Province of Ontario’s energy conservation agenda forward, says the Toronto Hydro Corporation.