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Ontario's New Energy Vision Puts Conservation First

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Ontario's New Energy Vision Puts Conservation First

Province Makes Conservation Top Priority in Energy Planning

Ontario is moving toward a new, innovative approach to energy planning by developing a new policy that will ensure the province invests in conservation measures before building new generation, whenever it is cost-effective to do so.

To help design Ontario's energy path moving forward, the government released Conservation First: A Renewed Vision for Energy Conservation in Ontario. It will help guide discussion as the province seeks input from Aboriginal partners, members of the public, local utilities, municipalities, environmental groups, business associations, and other stakeholders to develop a new Conservation and Demand Management framework. Feedback from these discussions will also inform the review of the province's Long Term Energy Plan.

The province has made great strides in conservation with programs that help reduce electricity demand and increase efficiency. Investments in conservation programs over the last eight years have allowed Ontario to avoid building new generation that would have cost more than $4 billion.

Conservation programs have also helped Ontarians manage their home energy use and reduce their electricity bills. For example, the saveONenergy programs encourage families and businesses to maximize savings by investing in energy efficient products and upgrades, and the Peaksaver PLUS program offers in-home displays that allow families to monitor their electricity use at home.

Encouraging a culture of conservation is part of the government's plan to maintain a clean, modern and reliable electricity grid.

Quick Facts

  • The Conservation and Demand Management framework sets out policy priorities for conservation, prescribes targets for local utilities and establishes funding for conservation programs. It began in 2011 and applies until the end of 2014.
  • The Long-Term Energy Plan review currently underway provides the opportunity to build the conservation first principle into Ontario’s energy planning.
  • From 2005 to 2011, families and businesses across the province conserved enough to reduce demand by more than 1,900 megawatts, the equivalent of powering more than 600,000 homes.
  • For every $1 invested in energy efficiency, Ontario has avoided about $2 in costs to the electricity system.
  • Between 1990 and 2013, average household electricity consumption has declined by almost 25 per cent, resulting in the average household saving up to $350 based on current electricity costs.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“Ontario has saved billions of dollars through conservation, and we have a clear opportunity to do more. By investing in conservation before new generation, where cost-effective, we can save ratepayers money and give consumers new technology to track and control energy use.”

Bob Chiarelli

Minister of Energy

“We applaud Ontario for putting energy conservation first. Doing so can save people money, help fight climate change and create good, local jobs. Taking cost-effective steps to save energy before spending on new energy supply can make Ontario a conservation leader in Canada.”

Gillian McEachern

Campaigns Director, Environmental Defence

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