Energy-efficiency program launched for Ontario's industrial sector

TORONTO, June 24 /CNW/ - The Ontario Power Authority today officially launched a new energy-efficiency program to reduce electricity use and increase competitiveness for large industrial companies that are directly connected to the electricity transmission system.

The Industrial Accelerator is a five-year program that provides attractive financial incentives to speed up investment in electricity-saving projects. Participating companies will contractually commit to achieve specific conservation targets within a set period of time and to maintain them over the term of the contract.

Electricity conservation is one of the best ways to manage energy costs, creating lasting operational savings and reducing companies' draw on the electricity system. The Industrial Accelerator program is designed to deliver bottom-line results for participating companies:

    
    -  Financial incentives will cover up to 70% of eligible capital costs.
    -  Energy-efficiency projects offer potential electricity cost savings as
       high as 30%.
    -  Support is offered for high-performance industrial installations that
       improve productivity and competitiveness.
    -  The program could significantly reduce the demand on the electricity
       system from some of Ontario's largest electricity consumers.
    -  The program will also help drive the development of green technology
       and jobs in the province. Over seven years, this program will create
       an estimated 5,500 net jobs.
    

"For Ontario to thrive, Ontario businesses must thrive," said Brad Duguid, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure. "Partnering with our largest energy consumers to reduce their energy use will enhance their long-term competitiveness and is part of Ontario's transformation from being a leader in consumption to a leader in conservation."

Ontario's industrial sector is made up of more than 20,000 small, medium and large companies that account for approximately one-third of all electricity use in Ontario. Within the sector, 45 large industrial companies directly connected to the transmission system represent an attractive opportunity for energy savings and are eligible to participate in the Industrial Accelerator program. These include companies in the pulp and paper, iron and steel, mining, auto assembly and parts, chemicals, petroleum refining, smelting and refining, and cement industries.

"With the launch of this program, eligible, large industrial electricity consumers in Ontario have access to financial resources to help them make significant energy-efficiency improvements," said Colin Andersen, Ontario Power Authority CEO. "This program, in collaboration with Ontario's suite of energy-efficiency programs, will maintain long-term system reliability through tangible, cost-effective, energy-reduction measures."

Several industry participants were involved in an OPA-industry working group that assisted in the development of the program. The Ontario Power Authority will administer the program.

More information on the Industrial Accelerator initiative is available at www.industrialaccelerator.ca. Applications will be accepted beginning on Friday, June 25. OPA Key Account Managers are available to assist industries to identify and implement projects and apply to the program.

The Ontario Power Authority is responsible for ensuring a reliable, sustainable supply of electricity for Ontario. Its four key areas of focus are: planning the power system for the long term, leading and co-ordinating conservation initiatives across the province, ensuring development of needed generation resources, and supporting the continued evolution of the electricity sector.

SOURCE Ontario Power Authority

For further information: For further information: Media Contact: Tim Butters, Ontario Power Authority, 416-969-6307, media@powerauthority.on.ca

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