TORONTO, July 16, 2013 /CNW/ - The Electricity Distributors Association
(EDA) welcomes today's launch by the Ontario Government of a
consultation to develop a new energy conservation framework for the
province - as well as the government's indication that it is looking
for a larger conservation role on the part of Ontario's electricity
"We're pleased to see this important first step in developing a new
framework," says EDA Chair Rene Gatien. "We're going to need
innovative, locally tailored and cost-effective programs to drive the
change that Ontarians want to see. Local distribution companies (LDCs)
are ready to step up and take on a greater role in the design and
delivery of conservation programs for their customers."
With the existing provincial conservation and demand management (CDM)
framework expiring at the end of 2014, the EDA has been urging the
development of a renewed and longer-term plan to better entrench a
conservation culture in Ontario. As consumer-facing and community-based
companies, Ontario's LDCs are uniquely positioned to develop innovative
CDM programs that are customer focused and well adapted to diverse
local and regional circumstances.
This would represent a departure from the current situation of
centralized conservation efforts, during which LDCs have been largely
restricted to delivery of standardized provincial CDM programs.
"If you want to influence energy consumption, the players closest to the
consumer need to be in the lead. With electricity in Ontario, that
means local distribution companies," Gatien says. "So today's call for
LDCs to take on greater responsibility for provincial conservation
efforts makes a lot of sense. And we look forward to helping build a
policy framework that will enable us to do that."
A discussion paper released today by the Ministry of Energy, titled Conservation First: A Renewed Vision for Energy Conservation in Ontario speaks to the value LDCs provide as the "face of conservation to their
customers" and indicates a commitment to "expanding the role of LDCs in
order to better support local needs and innovation". Empowering LDCs
with more autonomy, streamlined oversight and reduced administrative
burdens is identified as an objective of the new framework.
The distribution sector has proposed a business-based model that will
ensure investments drive results, with the right tools and incentives
for utilities, partners and customers. The EDA elaborated on this model
in a vision document, entitled Innovation from the Ground Up and has advocated for its implementation.
The EDA strongly believes that culture change of the type needed to
ensure meaningful energy-use reductions is a sustained and long-term
exercise requiring greater policy certainty. The consultation launched
today begins an important dialogue with the potential to set Ontario on
such a path, and represents a step in the right direction, Gatien says.
The EDA and its membership will actively participate in the
consultations relating to Ontario's new CDM framework. The association
will work to ensure this process delivers on the vision outlined today
for innovation, effective leadership, and long-term commitment to
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 over 4.8
million Ontario homes, businesses and public institutions.
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.