“Our government’s success in driving electrification of industry and transportation and strong economic growth is increasing electricity demand, and our government is looking at every option to meet these upcoming needs,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Energy. “By 2025, this expansion of energy-efficiency programs will help deliver enough annual electricity savings to power approximately 130,000 homes every year and reduce costs for consumers by over $650 million.”
This funding will support a new voluntary Residential Demand Response Program with an incentive for homes with an existing central air conditioning or heat pump unit and smart thermostat to help lower energy use at peak times and lower bills. It will also provide targeted support for greenhouse growers in Southwest Ontario, in addition to enhancements to existing programs that provide support for businesses, municipalities, hospitals and other institutions to reduce their energy use and their energy bill.
The government accepted the Independent Electricity System Operator’s (IESO) recommendation to roll out these new and expanded energy-efficiency programs, which are among the fastest and most cost-effective ways of meeting system needs, with the intention that they will be available to eligible electricity customers beginning in Spring 2023.
“Energy conservation is an important part of Ontario’s plan to build a cleaner, greener Ontario,” said David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “Using less energy is better for people and our planet. It’s also one of the fastest and most effective ways to save money, address climate change and help ensure we can continue to generate the clean, renewable and affordable electricity needed to meet the province’s long-term needs.”
These enhancements are expected to have a particular impact in Southwest Ontario, with regional peak demand savings of 225 megawatts (MW). This will help to alleviate electricity system constraints in the region and foster economic development.
The overall savings from this energy efficiency programming will result in an estimated three million tonnes of greenhouse gas emission reductions over its lifetime – the equivalent to taking approximately 600,000 vehicles off the road for one year.
“With strong economic growth and electrification increasing system demands, the IESO is committed to meet growing system needs and ensuring grid reliability by enhancing energy efficiency programming,” said Lesley Gallinger, President and CEO, the IESO. “Energy efficiency is one of the most reliable and cost-effective approaches to ensuring reliability on the grid. By using energy wisely, we increase opportunities to support electrification initiatives and decarbonization efforts at the same time.”