Ontario’s Energy Evolution

Promoting Informed Energy Citizenship in Ontario

Ontario’s energy future is at a tipping point. How we collectively navigate our current energy challenges will fundamentally shape our energy security and environmental legacy. Now is the time to foster collaboration, make informed decisions, and embrace innovative solutions to chart a resilient and sustainable energy future for Ontario.

Collaborating, Innovating, and Securing Ontario’s Sustainable Future.

Ontario’s political leaders face a series of difficult energy & environment decisions.

Here are some actions Ontario citizens, including those who are policy-makers, need to consider as we face the possibility of electricity supply shortfall and escalating electricity prices due to reduced nuclear generation capability and increased demand from decarbonization initiatives:

  1. Collaborate and Provide Accurate Information: Consumers of energy in Ontario need to have easy access to accurate facts about our federal, provincial, and municipal energy goals and our federal, provincial, and municipal environment goals. Ontario citizens need to understand where these goals align and where these goals do not align.
  2. Two-way Public Communication: Two-way communication is a key to achieving success with energy and environment goals. in such a situation. While Ontario now has affordable energy supplies, to what extent is this sustainable? To what extent will electrification initiatives increase Ontario electricity prices and when will those price increases take effect? Policy makers need to inspire two-way energy and environment communication with Ontario citizens.
  3. Reset Goals and Build Momentum: Certain energy and environment goals and policies must be thoroughly reviewed then reset. This involves making “best choices”, i.e., making choices that inspire action, build momentum, and survive the test of time. “Best choices” will create initiatives that optimize the balance between energy goals and environment goals.
  4. Review and Prioritize Initiatives: Decarbonization initiatives are not equal in terms of their costs/benefits or electrification demands. Energy and environment leaders must review the ongoing projects and initiatives and prioritize those that yield the most environmental benefit with the least increase in electricity demand. Compromises will replace polarized thinking.
  5. Invest in Energy Conservation and Efficiency: In the short term, aggressive promotion of energy conservation and efficiency can help reduce overall demand and create “success stories” that will inspire better use of energy. Increased emphasis on consumer education about conservation should accompany clear and simple subsidies for energy-efficient appliances, building retrofits, and energy-efficient lighting.
  6. Implement Demand Response Programs: These programs can encourage consumers to reduce their electricity usage during peak times, which can help manage supply and demand. Education and incentives need to encourage businesses and households to shift their heavy energy usage to off-peak times.
  7. Collaborate to Implement “DER”, “DSO”, and “EV”: Distributed Energy Resources, Distribution System Operator, and Electric Vehicle initiatives are hot topics in the energy sector. While people who work in the energy sector know these initiatives, there is no consensus on how they will unfold and impact electricity infrastructure. The question is, what do Ontario citizens know about DER, DSO, and EV and the impact these initiatives will have on electricity rates, taxes, and the future of Ontario’s local distribution companies?
  8. Temporarily Increase Generation from Existing Sources: Energy and environment leaders, including policy-makers, must improve communication about the continued use of fossil fuel power plants. Ontario citizens will benefit from consistent messages that illustrate collaboration, backed by accurate facts and accurate messages. For example, is it a fact that expanded use of natural gas generation increases emissions in the short term, however, it is necessary to prevent a future shortage electricity-supply?
  9. Fast-Track Renewable Energy Projects: To the extent possible, expedite the planning and construction of renewable energy projects that were already in the pipeline to increase supply. Ontario citizens need to understand the extent this fast-tracking is possible. For example, to what extent has increased interest rates throttled the development of multi-residential construction projects that involve green energy?
  10. Import Electricity: Ontario citizens need to understand our province’s ability to import electricity. Do neighbouring provinces and U.S. states possess the ability to export electricity, particularly hydroelectricity, to Ontario?

Charting Ontario’s Energy Evolution: A Decisive Time for Resilient and Sustainable Action

As Ontario citizens, we are on the threshold of a challenging yet transformative period in our energy history. Our energy landscape, characterized by a complex intersection of nuclear generation shortfalls and increasing demands due to decarbonization, requires adept management and well-balanced decisions from our provincial and municipal policy-makers. The decisions these political leaders make hold a profound influence over the strategies adopted by energy companies – entities that possess the ability to deploy their human and other resources not only within Ontario but across other Canadian provinces and internationally.

Creating a resilient, sustainable, and equitable energy system is not a responsibility confined to the political sphere; it is a shared obligation that calls for a swift and robust collaboration across Ontario’s energy sector. This complex task hinges on strategic foresight, robust public engagement, and transformative decision-making.

To maximize energy and environment success, involvement of and collaboration with Ontario citizens is essential.

We must forge a comprehensive strategy that nurtures public understanding, facilitates two-way communication between policymakers and citizens, and fosters sustainable, future-oriented energy and environment goals. In addition, an organized and critical review of ongoing projects will optimize resource allocation and heighten environmental impact, pushing us beyond divisive narratives and towards a more nuanced understanding of energy policy.

Ontario citizens and the organizations they work for and support can reshape their energy consumption patterns dramatically through energy conservation and efficiency and the innovative deployment of demand response programs. A comprehensive understanding and efficient execution of contemporary energy solutions like DER, DSO, and EV initiatives offer a promising avenue for the transformation of our energy infrastructure.

An Essential Need for Unified Effort and Action

In conclusion, we, as Ontario’s citizens and leaders, stand on the edge of a most-significant energy evolution. Our journey through our current challenging situation will shape not only our energy security but our environmental legacy. Through meaningful collaboration, better-informed decision-making, and an unwavering commitment to innovation, we can chart a path towards a resilient and sustainable energy and environment future for Ontario.

Together our conversations can expand solutions and value

We look forward to helping you bring your ideas and solutions to life.
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