Click on the above link to view submissions made online. Note: Submissions containing personal information are not available for viewing through this link.
Consultation and engagement efforts included 13 open houses held in 12 communities across Ontario, and 10 engagement sessions and meetings with representatives of close to 100 First Nation and Métis communities and organizations. The consultation and engagement process was supported by a discussion guide Making Choices: Reviewing Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan.
All 1245 submissions received were reviewed and considered by the Ministry as it prepared the LTEP. Many of the submissions contained multiple comments on a variety of topics. The Ministry grouped the comments by key topics and identified themes within each topic to allow better analysis.
Nearly 300 comments were received on conservation. Comments overwhelmingly supported Ontario increasing conservation efforts. Many comments suggested specific conservation initiatives such as setting higher energy efficiency standards for products and giving local distribution companies (LDCs) and municipalities more responsibility in designing and delivering programs. Other comments recommended increasing public awareness as a tool for reducing demand for energy.
In addition to the EBR comments, the Ministry took other policy considerations into account when making LTEP decisions. These included the nature of conservation as a clean and affordable energy resource, current economic trends, the available potential for conservation in the province, and the importance of demand response as a tool to address peak demand pressures to help maintain system reliability.
Accordingly, the LTEP contains the following key decisions:
• Conservation First Approach: The Ministry of Energy will work with its agencies to ensure they put conservation first in their planning, approval and procurement processes. The ministry will also work with the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to incorporate the policy of conservation first into distributor planning processes for both electricity and natural gas utilities.
• Offset Future Growth in Demand: The province expects to offset almost all of the growth in electricity demand to 2032 by using programs and improved codes and standards. This will lessen the need for new supply. The long-term conservation target of 30 terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2032 represents a 16% reduction in the forecast gross demand for electricity, an improvement over the 2010 LTEP.
• Setting Higher Efficiency Standards: To help consumers choose the most efficient products for their homes and businesses, Ontario will provide information and incentives; it will also continue to show leadership in establishing minimum efficiency requirements for products such as water heaters, clothes dryers, televisions, fluorescent lamps, motors and boilers.
• Increasing Public Awareness: The province intends to take steps to deepen public awareness of energy use and conservation. Initiatives in the short term include the Green Button initiative, building conservation literacy in schools through ECOschools and conducting a pilot project on social benchmarking which could, pending its outcome, inform expanded opportunities.
Over 600 comments were received on nuclear issues. They included themes such as support for both new build and refurbishment, recognition that nuclear power reduces greenhouse gases, and support for the phase-out of nuclear power in the province. Although a majority of the comments, over 450, were in favor of nuclear a significant minority, 209, recommended the phase-out of nuclear power.
Other policy considerations taken into account by the Ministry in developing the LTEP included the ability of nuclear to provide safe, reliable base-load energy generation, changing supply and demand for electricity in Ontario, and the economic impact of nuclear refurbishment and new build to Ontario ratepayers.
Accordingly the following key decisions are included in the LTEP:
• Commitment to Nuclear: Maintaining nuclear meets Ontario’s need for safe, reliable, low-carbon energy while acting as a significant economic driver for the province. The province’s nuclear fleet supports about 15,600 jobs in Ontario and generates $2.5 billion in direct and secondary economic activity in Ontario every year. In addition, the Ontario nuclear supply chain consists of over 155 private sector manufacturing, engineering, consulting and construction companies located mainly in southern Ontario that employ over 12,000 people and support both domestic and offshore nuclear activities.
• Refurbishment of Darlington and Bruce: Refurbished nuclear is the most cost-effective generation available to Ontario for meeting base-load requirements and received strong province-wide support during the LTEP consultation process. 9,000 additional jobs will be created during the period of refurbishment at the Darlington and Bruce sites. In order to meet Ontario’s commitment of maintaining its nuclear supply, the government will refurbish all units at the Darlington and Bruce Generating Stations, starting in 2016. The province will proceed with caution to ensure both flexibility and ongoing value for Ontario ratepayers during the refurbishment process.
• Deferred New Nuclear Build: Although there was strong province-wide support for new nuclear during the LTEP consultation process, the demand for electricity has not grown as expected due to changes in the economy and gains in conversation and energy efficiency. New nuclear capacity is not needed at this time.
• Retain future New Build Options: Ontario continues to retain the option to build new nuclear reactors in the future, should supply and demand in the province change over time. Ontario will work with OPG to maintain its site license granted by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.
RENEWABLES AND HYDROELECTRICITY:
Almost 600 comments about renewable energy were received.
While many supported renewable energy, others expressed a preference for other fuel types. Reducing greenhouse gases was seen as a high priority. Hydro was viewed as a low cost, low emissions and reliable source of energy, although challenges to expansion were also acknowledged. There was a widespread recognition of the intermittent nature of wind and solar power, and an associated desire to promote greater reliability. Concerns were expressed regarding the cost of non-hydro renewables.
Although the input varied, the majority of comments supported Ontario’s commitment to renewable energy.
Other policy considerations that the Ministry took into account in developing the LTEP included system needs, transmission availability, ratepayer value and community support.
Accordingly the LTEP contains the following key decisions:
• Extended Timeframe for Non-Hydro Renewable Procurement: Ontario will phase in wind, solar and bio-energy over a longer time period, with 10,700 MW online by 2021.
• Increased Hydroelectric Procurement: Ontario will increase the province’s hydroelectric portfolio to 9,300 MW by 2025. With this increased target, Ontario will maximize the potential for new large-scale hydro facilities that the current transmission system can support.
• New Renewable Procurement Process: The Ministry of Energy and the OPA will develop a new competitive procurement model for future renewable energy projects larger than 500 kilowatts (kW), which will take into account local needs and considerations. The OPA will consult with the public, municipalities, Aboriginal communities and other stakeholders on the design of the program in early 2014, and seek to launch the procurement process for new large renewables before the end of the first quarter of 2014.
SUPPLY AND PRICING:
Close to 600 comments related to supply and pricing were received. The comments covered themes including phasing out coal generation, job creation in the electricity sector, generation siting, and energy imports. Many submissions supported keeping the cost of electricity generation as low as possible and ensuring that Ontario has an affordable and reliable electricity system into the future. Similarly, many comments expressed concern about the impact of high prices on Ontario’s industrial competitiveness. A high number of comments sought greater transparency on the components that make up electricity prices.
In addition to the submissions, the Ministry made LTEP decisions by considering the following policy inputs: cost effectiveness, the need for reliability, environmental and GHG impacts of energy sources, community support and the ability to avoid building new supply through expanded conservation and demand management programs.
Accordingly, the LTEP contains the following key decisions:
Focus on Ratepayer Value:
• The 2013 LTEP cost and price forecasts are lower than previously forecast in 2010. The overall cost of electricity service is expected to be less than the previous forecast by $70 billion over the life of the plan (2013-2030).
• New rules have been implemented to allow transmission-connected wind generation to be dispatched (or turned off) when the system does not require it. It is estimated that wind dispatch could save ratepayers up to $200 million per year due to increased operational efficiencies.
• Lower FIT prices reflecting the reduction of domestic content requirements and a reduction in technology prices will represent savings of approximately $1.9 billion over the term of the contracts signed for new projects.
• The Green Energy Investment Agreement has been amended resulting in a $3.7 billion reduction in contract payments from the original agreement.
• Advancing the cessation of coal fired generation at the Lambton and Nanticoke generating stations by one year will save ratepayers about $95 million in maintenance and project costs.
Electricity Sector Efficiencies:
• The government will continue to seek sector efficiencies by working with its energy agencies in developing business plans and efficiency targets that will reduce agency costs and result in significant ratepayer savings and by specifically encouraging OPG and Hydro One in exploring new business lines and opportunities for export.
• The government also expects that LDCs will pursue innovative partnerships and transformative initiatives to drive efficiencies that will result in ratepayer savings.
TRANSMISSION AND REGIONAL PLANNING:
Approximately 165 comments were received relating to Transmission and Regional Planning.
The comments covered themes that varied widely, and many were specific suggestions about how to plan for a cost-effective and reliable system that has favorable economic development impacts. More specifically, they included: minimizing transmission needs by building generation closer to where it is needed; encouraging distributed generation; expanding transmission infrastructure to specific areas to enable new renewable generation such as Northwestern Ontario; increasing the level of interconnection with Ontario’s neighbours to support greater electricity trade; and allowing competitive procurement for new transmission infrastructure.
In addition to EBR input, other policy considerations that the Ministry took into account included existing provincial goals such as maintaining reliability and building infrastructure to support economic growth, and existing and forecast regional needs, as well as finding ways to ensure that local voices play an enhanced role in energy planning.
Accordingly, the LTEP contains the following key decisions:
• Northwest Bulk Transmission Line: The Northwest faces growth in demand, some of which is beyond what today’s system can supply. Hydro One will be expected to begin planning for a new Northwest Bulk Transmission Line to increase supply and reliability to the area west of Thunder Bay. Hydro One and Infrastructure Ontario will be expected to work together to explore ways to ensure cost-effective procurement related to the line.
• Clean Imports: Ontario will consider opportunities for clean imports from other jurisdictions when such imports would have system benefits and are cost effective for Ontario ratepayers.
• Engaging Local Communities: The government will implement the IESO and the OPA recommendations for regional planning and the siting of large energy infrastructure. This includes engaging “early and often” with local communities, establishing Regional Advisory Committees, linking local planning with regional planning and enhancing public awareness.
• Enhanced Regional Planning: The Ministry of Energy, the IESO and the OPA will work with municipal partners to ensure early and meaningful involvement in energy planning. Regional Plans will promote conservation while also considering other cost-effective solutions such as new supply, transmission and distribution investments.
• Municipal and Aboriginal Community Energy Plans: Municipalities and First Nation and Métis communities will be encouraged to develop their own community-level energy plans to identify conservation opportunities and infrastructure priorities. The new Municipal Energy Plan Program and the Aboriginal Community Energy Plan Program will support these efforts.
Many aspects of connecting remote First Nation communities were raised in a number of written submissions, including a call for expanded transmission infrastructure in the Northwest, support for a new line to Pickle Lake and the economic and environmental benefits of reducing the reliance of remote communities on diesel.
In addition, during the engagement sessions held with Aboriginal communities, the Ministry heard significant support for prioritizing solutions to help remote First Nation communities to reduce their reliance on diesel.
As well as this feedback, the Ministry took other policy considerations into account in its LTEP decisions around remote connection. These included the unique situation of the remote communities, the ever-increasing expense of diesel supply and its environmental impacts, and the respective constitutional responsibilities of the federal and provincial governments.
Accordingly the LTEP contains the following key decisions:
• Remote Community Transmission Connection: Connecting remote northwestern First Nation communities is a priority for Ontario. Ontario will continue to work with the federal government to connect remote First Nation communities to the electricity grid or explore on-site alternatives for the few remaining communities when there may be more cost-effective solutions to reduce diesel use.
• Pickle Lake Transmission Line: A new Line to Pickle Lake was first identified as a priority in the 2010 Long-Term Energy Plan. Because of its importance to the connection of remote communities, this project remains a key priority for Ontario.
• Alternative Solutions: While transmission appears to be the most economical solution for most remote First Nation communities, there may be more cost-effective alternatives to reduce diesel use for the others. Ontario will continue to explore these opportunities, including putting together implementation plans for on-site alternatives by the end of 2014.
FIRST NATIONS AND MÉTIS COMMUNITIES:
The Ministry of Energy, with the support of the Ontario Power Authority, held 10 Aboriginal engagement sessions and meetings from July to October 2013 to seek input and perspectives on reviewing the Long Term Energy Plan (LTEP). Approximately 250 people from close to 100 First Nation and Métis communities and organizations attended these sessions, which were the primary source of feedback collected from Aboriginal leaders and groups. The Ministry also received 15 EBR submissions and six written submissions directly from First Nation and Métis communities or organizations.
First Nation and Métis representatives shared a wide range of comments and suggestions, including a desire for Ontario to continue encouraging both First Nation and Métis community participation in generation and transmission projects through incentives, continued support for capacity building, education and funding programs, concerns about high electricity prices and delivery charges for on-reserve First Nation members, as well as support for broader conservation programming that reaches a greater number of communities. As stated above, there were also extensive comments on the need to prioritize work with remote First Nation communities. There were also mixed comments from First Nation and Métis communities about the appropriate roles for nuclear energy and renewable energy as part of Ontario’s overall supply mix.
The information gathered from the sessions and included in EBR and other written submissions was compiled and analyzed by ministry staff and carefully considered as a part of the LTEP review. In consideration of the all the comments received by the Ministry, the updated LTEP reflects the following key commitments to First Nation and Métis communities:
• Participation in Energy Procurement: The Ontario government recognizes that Aboriginal participation in the energy sector is one of the keys to the economic development of First Nation and Métis communities. Ontario will therefore continue to encourage Aboriginal participation, including through the FIT program and the future large renewable energy procurement program, and will continue to review participation incentives and support programs to ensure they provide opportunities for First Nation and Métis communities.
• Participation in Transmission Projects: The LTEP explicitly encourages Aboriginal involvement in the development of transmission lines in Ontario. When new, major transmission lines are identified, Ontario will expect that companies looking to develop proposed lines involve potentially affected Aboriginal communities, where commercially feasible and where there is an interest. Ontario will also launch the Aboriginal Transmission Fund (ATF), which will help First Nation and Métis communities to undertake the due diligence required to become involved in new, major, planned transmission line projects.
• Conservation Initiatives: Conservation can and will play an important role for Aboriginal communities that identify high electricity costs as a significant challenge. Ontario will give LDCs an enhanced role in the delivery of Aboriginal conservation programs, particularly for on-reserve First Nation customers. Where appropriate, the province will work with federal partners to effectively implement provincial conservation initiatives.
• Capacity Development and Training: Building local capacity and providing skills training will be critical to driving participation levels and long-term success. The province recently extended education and capacity building funding delivered by the Ontario Power Authority to Aboriginal communities and organizations, to better equip First Nation and Métis communities to participate in and develop renewable energy projects and initiatives. Ontario will also work with Hydro One to expand its training and skills development initiatives for Aboriginal peoples seeking to work in the transmission/distribution sector, including working with its existing college consortium to focus on Aboriginal opportunities as it relates to trades and technicians.
• Open Dialogue: Two-way dialogue is the only way to ensure that support programs, conservation initiatives, procurement processes and electricity infrastructure projects reflect the needs, interests and capacity of Aboriginal communities, and maximize opportunities for participation. Ontario will work with Aboriginal leadership to identify effective mechanisms to discuss energy issues, such as the cost of electricity for First Nations on reserve, as well as to share information in a timely way.
Over 70 comments related to smart grid and innovation. The comments covered themes such as the role and cost of energy storage, the benefits and costs of integrating new and emerging smart grid technologies onto the grid and enabling consumer access to their energy data.
The comments were generally supportive of smart grid, although some cautioned that the impacts on ratepayers should be taken into account when considering the deployment of new technologies. With respect to energy storage, submissions were split between those that believe the technology is mature enough to be integrated into the electrical grid today, and those that suggested more research and development is required before the technologies can be cost-effectively applied to the Ontario electricity market. Submissions that addressed electric vehicles noted that they will increasingly be adopted by consumers and will create both challenges and opportunities for the province.
According the LTEP contains the following key decisions:
• Smart Grid Innovation: Ontario’s energy sector is an innovation leader. The government will seek to expand the Smart Grid Fund and build on previous success. The Smart Grid Fund has created more than 600 jobs and supported 11 projects developing innovative technologies.
• A Measured Approach - Energy Storage Pilot Projects: By the end of 2014, the government will include storage technologies in our procurement process, starting with 50 MW and assessing additional engagement on an ongoing basis.
OIL AND GAS PIPELINES:
Nearly 300 comments were received by the Ministry on oil and natural gas issues. The comments covered themes which varied widely and included carbon impact, future oil supplies, safety of gas infrastructure, pipeline environmental impacts (e.g. to watersheds), and future gas costs. Most frequently, comments advocated for reducing or not increasing the use of natural gas on environmental and economic grounds; increasing the use of natural gas; and promoting the use of natural gas-fired combined heat and power (CHP).
In addition to the submissions, the final LTEP decisions in this area are shaped by the fact that the vast majority of Ontario’s oil and gas comes from outside the province. The pipelines that bring oil and gas into Ontario are regulated by the federal government through the National Energy Board. The increase in production of oil in Western Canada and shale gas in the United States has had a significant impact on the oil and natural gas market in Ontario.
Accordingly the LTEP includes the following key decisions:
• Expand Natural Gas Infrastructure: The government will work with gas distributors and municipalities to pursue options to expand natural gas infrastructure to service more communities in rural and northern Ontario.
• Principles for Pipeline Evaluation: Ontario has adopted principles it will use to review large scale pipeline projects to ensure that they meet the highest environmental and safety standards as well as benefit Ontario’s economy.
The following is a link to Plan, which includes a detailed Executive Summary: