Ontario has been working for several years to create a culture of conservation across the province. Although the global economic downturn of the past few years dampened electricity demand in Ontario and elsewhere, a shortfall in capacity may emerge as early as 2018. As a result, conservation investments will remain a priority for Ontario and conservation should be considered the first resource, where cost-effective, when planning for the province’s electricity needs.
In 2010, the government directed the Ontario Power Authority to work with Local Distribution Companies (LDCs) to develop and implement provincial conservation programs and directed the Ontario Energy Board to establish conservation targets for LDCs as a condition of their licence. With the current Conservation and Demand Management Framework winding down at the end of 2014, it is timely to consider what is required for the development of a new framework. To help guide input, the Ministry has released a discussion paper, Conservation First: A Renewed Vision for Conservation in Ontario, which discusses the government’s vision for conservation, explores potential new innovative initiatives and outlines objectives for a new framework. The paper also includes several questions to help focus feedback.