TORONTO, Dec. 2, 2013 /CNW/ - The Electricity Distributors Association
(EDA) is pleased to see continued signals - in the new Long-Term Energy
Plan (LTEP) released today - that local distributors will assume
leadership in fostering energy conservation across the province, and in
helping to meet strengthened conservation targets.
"We're supportive of the indication we see in today's plan that local
distribution companies will be much more central to conservation
initiatives going forward - including a more prominent role in program
design and delivery, and more flexibility in addressing local needs,"
says EDA Chair Rene Gatien.
Government signaled a clear intention in a Conservation First white paper released in the summer to strengthen the role of local
distribution companies. This would involve moving away from the
existing highly centralized approach, under which largely standardized
provincial conservation programs are used.
The LTEP released today appears to affirm that intention, specifically
noting that LDCs are the "face of conservation for most Ontarians,
delivering programs to their local communities". EDA President and CEO
Charlie Macaluso notes, however, that it will be important that this
recognition is accompanied by a proper balance of accountabilities and
rewards, and by follow-through on the commitment to provide
distributors with appropriate "authority and means" to achieve
The EDA also notes favourably the commitments in the plan to better
inform consumers regarding electricity pricing outlooks and influencing
factors, and to provide expanded tools that may enable consumers to
more actively participate in conservation and to help moderate price
increases. The concept of on-bill financing of energy-efficiency
improvements is of particular interest to distribution companies and
one the EDA has previously advocated for.
"As the billing agent for the entire electrical system, distributors are
very highly attuned to price sensitivities," says Macaluso. "We've
clearly identified extensive opportunities for improved efficiencies,
and we hope today's plan will mark the start of expanded engagement
with government on that."
In an extensive plan released last year, the EDA identified well over
$500 million in potential distribution-related savings, through a range
of regulatory reforms and other measures on which government action is
required. A task force created by the association earlier this year has
been mandated to work with government to realize these savings.
In addition to an extensive conservation-related submission, the EDA
made various other LTEP-related recommendations to government, with a
particular emphasis on facilitating innovation. The plan released today
also contains favourable indications in this regard, specifically
relating to: expansion of the Smart Grid Fund; addressing regulatory
barriers to enhance the feasibility of energy storage technologies in
Ontario; and support for efforts to advance combined heat and power
(CHP) and energy-from-waste initiatives.
The EDA looks forward to engaging with the government on the further
development of a new conservation framework, and on other aspects of
About the EDA
The Electricity Distributors Association (EDA) is the voice of Ontario's local electricity distributors, the
publicly and privately owned companies that safely and reliably deliver
electricity to nearly five million Ontario homes, businesses and public
SOURCE: Electricity Distributors Association
For further information:
please contact the EDA's Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications, Kevin Hanson, at (905) 265-5337 / (647) 627-1826.