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Ontario to Enable Cutting Edge Conservation Initiative

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Ontario to Enable Cutting Edge Conservation Initiative

McGuinty Government Helping Consumers Manage Electricity Use

Ontario is aiming to provide electricity consumers with greater access to information about their energy consumption and encourage the creation of new, innovative tools for consumers to help conserve energy and save on electricity costs.

A working group led by the province and the MaRS Discovery District will explore an Ontario Green Button initiative that would use innovative smart grid technology to give families and businesses direct, timely access to their own energy data through a secure download from their utility's website. A standard data format for Ontario's utilities would also encourage app developers to create new tools to help Ontarians manage their energy use from their computers and smart devices. 

Helping Ontarians conserve energy while managing their electricity cost is part of the McGuinty government's plan to modernize the province's electricity infrastructure, ensure clean air for families and keep the lights on in homes and businesses across the province.

Quick Facts

  • In January 2012, the United States Department of Energy launched its Green Button initiative. Ontario is taking steps to become the first to establish a province-wide Green Button initiative.
  • The working group will meet later this month and will have representation from utilities, government agencies, and the Information and Privacy Commissioner’s Office.
  • Smart grid technology uses two-way digital communications to help consumers control their electricity use and costs while ensuring consumers have reliable power by letting utility companies pinpoint and automatically fix power outages.
  • Ontario has completed full rollout of smart meters to homes and small business consumers across the province, over 4.7 million in total.
  • The province’s conservation efforts have decreased electricity demand by over 1,900 megawatts between 2005 and 2011 — the equivalent of over 600,000 homes being taken off the grid.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“The Ontario Green Button initiative will enable each of us to have better access to information on our own energy use and will help families make choices to save energy and money.”

Chris Bentley

Minister of Energy

“Through our working group to increase access to energy data, MaRS and the Ministry of Energy are opening the doors to innovative, new solutions that will drive conservation and consumer energy literacy, while positioning Ontario at the forefront of the global convergence of IT and energy.”

Dr. Ilse Treurnicht

CEO, MaRS Discovery District

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