AMPCO Identifies Abundant Conservation Potential for Ontario's Business Power Consumers



    TORONTO, Dec. 19 /CNW/ - The Association of Major Power Consumers in
Ontario today released Conservation through Dialogue and Design, a report that
recommends changes in government policy, regulation and incentives to unlock
the significant potential of Ontario's business consumers to help achieve the
McGuinty government's ambitious energy conservation targets. The report has
been submitted to the Conservation Fund of the Ontario Power Authority, which
contributed funding and staff expertise toward the research.
    "There are abundant un-tapped opportunities for improved energy
efficiency and conservation within Ontario businesses," says Adam White,
Executive Director of AMPCO. "Changes are needed to create the right
conditions for businesses to realize the potential of energy conservation.
However, these changes can be implemented more quickly and at lower cost than
the alternative of increasing energy supply."
    The report concludes that while major energy consumers already pursue
energy efficiency goals, competitive pressures discourage investments that
involve undue risk, or high capital investments that offer low rates of return
and long pay-back periods.

    
    AMPCO recommends that:
    -  Direct economic incentives be used to achieve significant improvements
       in energy efficiency and conservation;

    -  Energy customers should be provided with streamlined access to
       practical information on best practices, programs and resources;

    -  Programs that promote small and short term energy savings will help
       create momentum for effective energy conservation over time; and,

    -  Consumer-designed initiatives can achieve more than general
       initiatives by third-parties, such as energy utilities.
    

    "Success should be measured by Ontario's ability to save the most energy
at the lowest overall cost," said White. "Direct incentives that help business
consumers conserve energy will be more cost-effective than high-level,
mass-market approaches."
    AMPCO's Conservation through Dialogue and Design report and a related
media backgrounder are available on its website - www.ampco.org.

    AMPCO is a not-for-profit consumer interest advocacy organization that
promotes improved competitiveness for Ontario industry through reliable
supplies of electricity at affordable rates. AMPCO members employ over 50,000
Ontarians across a wide range of resource, manufacturing and processing
industries that use very large amounts of electrical energy. As a group,
AMPCO's 57 members consume more than $1 billion worth of electricity each
year, representing 14 per cent of Ontario's total electrical demand and half
of its total industrial demand.

    
    BACKGROUNDER
    CONSERVATION THROUGH DIALOGUE AND DESIGN

    About the Report

    The Association of Major Power Consumers in Ontario (AMPCO), with the
support of the Conservation Fund of the Ontario Power Authority (OPA), has
engaged business leaders and energy conservation experts across Ontario to:
    -  Raise awareness about ambitious conservation targets set by the
       Ontario government and business opportunities for conservation
    -  Recruit business leaders, energy managers and experts to assist AMPCO
       in identifying conservation opportunities and barriers, to evaluate
       the effectiveness of conservation programs, generate ideas and
       recommend ways to achieve Ontario's conservation targets
    -  Design and populate a database of conservation opportunities and
       business prospects for conservation programs
    -  Learn how to communicate effectively with business consumers

    AMPCO's Report, Conservation through Dialogue and Design, is a product of
    this effort.

    Summary of Findings

    -  Business consumers are already highly aware of energy efficiency
       issues
    -  Economic barriers impede consumers' pursuit of conservation efforts
    -  Business consumers need to see immediate value from conservation
       investments in order to justify making them
    -  Direct economic incentives are needed to spur significant action and
       reductions in use
    -  Customers voice a strong demand for trustworthy, streamlined,
       practical information on best practices, programs, resources and
       networking
    -  Initially, programs with many small and short term energy savings
       successes will be most effective
    -  Given the diversity of customers' infrastructures and resources, they
       are better positioned to come up with effective initiatives for their
       own use than are third-parties, such as utilities

    Principles to Guide Effective Conservation Programs

    -  The focus must be on customers and customer needs, not on
       institutions, utilities, technologies, programs or projects
    -  Business consumers themselves must be engaged - not as targets for
       utility programs - but in developing plans, programs and processes
       themselves to meet their own needs
    -  Information and education must support decision-making at every level
       in an organization
    -  Programs must be transparent and administratively simple
    -  Incentives must promote cost-effective conservation outcomes
    -  Programs must promote efficient implementation to reduce management
       and administrative burdens and to minimize overhead costs
    

    Conclusions

    To achieve meaningful energy conservation targets, Ontario must move
beyond high-level marketing initiatives; pursue long-term programs to
accelerate improvement in industrial energy use; and engage broad business
consumer groups and communities.
    Business leaders appreciate the objectives, but require specific
information that translates into nuts-and-bolts energy saving projects. Their
appetite for energy conservation is a reflection of the competitive
environment in which they function. They can identify significant
opportunities to save energy, but not without long term planning, considerable
investment, risk and the patience to weather low rates of return and long
pay-back periods. Conservation is a tough sell in business environments that
demand low-cost, high-gain results on a quarterly or annual basis.
    If conservation is to out-compete the supply alternative, customers must
be directly engaged and consumer action must be supported by good information
and analysis. Furthermore, straightforward programs must deliver sufficient
incentives to overcome existing economic barriers.
    OPA could facilitate this by directly responding to what consumers want
and need. This would include incentives, information, and value for money
auditing.
    Programs should be easy to enter and easy to understand, and the initial
focus should be on small, low-risk steps to build a track record of success.

    Contribution to the Report

    This report was made possible with experience, expertise and funding
provided by the Conservation Fund of the Ontario Power Authority.
    Over a four week period in October and November of 2006, AMPCO organized
and participated in 12 focused consultation sessions, outreach meetings, and
workshops. The project team corresponded with all AMPCO members and engaged a
broad range of small, medium and large industrial electricity consumers.
Through regional workshops - in Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury,
Ottawa, Orillia, Toronto, Waterloo, Hamilton, London, Sarnia and Windsor -
AMPCO met with as many as 200 local business managers, conservation and demand
management program developers, product suppliers and delivery agents.
    In addition, AMPCO conducted an extensive review of the literature and
analyzed conservation program experience in Ontario and other jurisdictions in
Canada, the United States, Europe and elsewhere.

    About AMPCO

    AMPCO is a not-for-profit consumer interest advocacy organization that
serves the interests of Ontario's major industries: forestry, chemical, mining
and minerals, steel, petroleum products, cement, automotive and manufacturing
industries and business consumers in general.
    AMPCO's members include 50 of the largest power consumers in Ontario and
represent a total wholesale expenditure on electricity commodity of more than
$1 billion per year. Collectively, AMPCO members comprise 14 percent of
Ontario's electricity demand; use 50 percent of its industrial demand; and
employ approximately 50,000 people throughout the province.

    For More information

    Copies of Conservation through Dialogue and Design and a December 19,
2007 news release are available through AMPCO's website: www.ampco.org




For further information:

For further information: Adam White, President, AMPCO, Cell: (416)
999-5781

Organization Profile

ASSOCIATION OF MAJOR POWER CONSUMERS IN ONTARIO (AMPCO)

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