McGuinty Government Building Culture Of Conservation
Working With Ontarians To Save Energy, Money And The Environment
TORONTO -- Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty today set a target of reducing Ontario's energy consumption by five per cent by 2007 as part of his government's plan to create a culture of conservation and make Ontario a North American leader in energy efficiency.
"If we don't act soon, Ontario will face an energy crisis -- and simply building more generation is not going to be enough to meet the challenge," said Premier McGuinty. "Our government will provide the leadership that creates opportunities for savings, but we're asking Ontarians -- from all walks of life -- to make good decisions about how they use energy."
The government's conservation plan includes:
Creating an Ontario Power Authority that will include a Conservation Secretariat led by a Chief Conservation Officer
Launching a public education and outreach campaign, including town hall meetings, to encourage conservation
Setting aggressive targets to put smart meters into every home by 2010, with an interim target of 800,000 meters in place by 2007 -- together with more flexible pricing, this would allow Ontarians to save money if they run appliances in off-peak hours
Developing regulations to provide provincewide access to net metering, which enables homeowners and businesses generating renewable electricity to receive credit for the excess energy they produce
Allowing local distribution companies to begin investing approximately $225 million for local, community-based conservation programs
Creating incentives for local distribution companies and Hydro One to reduce expensive, wasteful "system loss" that can occur when transmitting electricity to consumers.
"By making smart choices that conserve energy, we can all contribute to an Ontario with more jobs in an innovative economy, stronger communities and a healthier environment with cleaner air to breathe," said Premier McGuinty. "The more we reduce our demand for electricity, the less we'll need to spend increasing supply by building new sources of power."
In order to lead by example and help pioneer energy-saving ideas, Premier McGuinty has asked the provincial government to reduce its own electricity consumption by 10 per cent by 2007.
"Ontario faces a real energy challenge -- that's why it's so important to create a genuine conservation culture," said Premier McGuinty. "Our government's plan recognizes that none of us is as strong as all of us. Together, we'll save energy, save money and save the environment to create a sustainable future and a higher quality of life for all."