Aiming for 300 Million Negawatts: Ontario to Announce Energy Efficiency Program for Big Industry


Photo: Flickr, CC
Energy Efficiency Makes Everything Else Easier
Repeat after me: Energy efficiency might not be sexy, but it's crucially important. Whatever we do, squeezing more utility out of each unit of energy is a good thing, and it makes it easier to transition from dirty sources of energy to cleaner ones (you need to build fewer new sources of power to replace the old ones). That's why I applaud Ontario's upcoming program for industrial energy efficiency. Read on for more details.
Photo: Flickr, CC

Tyler Hamilton writes in the Toronto Star that: "The cheapest megawatt is the one that's never used. [...] The Ontario Power Authority, which will administer the program, aims to reduce power demand in the province by at least 300 megawatts, equivalent to a small coal-fired power plant. [...] Under the program, the power authority will pay up to 70 per cent of the cost of an energy retrofit, capped at $10 million, to any industrial consumer that's connected directly to the province's transmission system. Energy savings are expected to achieve a one- to two-year payback for participants."

This is great, and hopefully just a start.

Many factories have been built decades ago when energy in general was cheaper than now, and when environmental concerns weren't quite as mainstream. There are many low-hanging fruits; for example, some have been flaring gases and could be used to generate on-site power and heat.

Residential efficiency improvements should also be encouraged (kind of like Obama's recent cash for caulkers program), and time-of-use electricity rates should be phased in as fast as possible (the city of Ottawa already has smart meters installed, and is switching to time-of-use rates over the next year).

Via Tyler Hamilton
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Tags: Canada | Energy Efficiency | Ontario