Ontario to make buildings more energy efficient
Proposed Act Would Entrench Conservation Review Into Building Code
Ontario is planning to make conservation and energy efficiency even more integral to its building code, Premier Dalton McGuinty said today.
A new Green Energy Act, to be introduced in the Ontario legislature later this month, would establish Ontario as a leader in conservation and help boost the economy by elevating the importance of energy efficiency in Ontario's building code. It will also create an Expert Advisory Council to advise the Minister on any future energy efficiency changes to the building code.
Conserving energy helps the environment, saves money and creates jobs; jobs for the people who conduct audits or carry out retrofits, for those who install solar or geothermal equipment as well as people specializing in energy efficient construction. Also, when people reduce energy consumption by installing new insulation in homes; it creates work for local companies.
The Act would make Ontario a leader in North America in building renewable energy, encouraging energy conservation and creating green jobs.
The bill would also help the government ensure our province's future by:
- Supporting and expanding economic investment, thus building a stronger, greener economy with an estimated 50,000+ direct and indirect jobs over the next three years
- Expanding Ontario's use of clean and renewable sources of energy such as wind, solar, hydro, biomass and biogas, and
- Better protecting our environment, combating climate change and creating a healthier future for generations to come.
Premier McGuinty made the comments while addressing the London Chamber of Commerce.
- In California over the last 30 years, close to half of all electricity savings occurred as a result of improved building codes and equipment performance standards.
- The 2006 changes to the Building Code made Ontario a leader in Canada in energy efficiency for buildings.
- Ontario has one of the most aggressive targets in North America to reduce peak electricity demand - Between 2004 and 2007, Ontario reduced its peak electricity demand by five per cent, or 1,350 megawatts.
- Ontario’s Home energy savings program provides homeowners with up to $150 towards the cost of a home energy audit and up to $10,000 in combined provincial and federal rebates for retrofits that address energy issues identified in the audit.
- Heating and cooling your home accounts for about 60 per cent of energy costs.
“Ontario has worked very hard over the past five years to become a leading jurisdiction in energy conservation. We have made good progress, but more can be done, and there are big savings to be found in making our buildings more efficient.”
“Energy efficiency is about more than just turning off lights. A true conservation culture has to be built in to the way we do business, and The Green Energy Act would ensure that energy efficiency is a top priority.”