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Who We Are The Power System Demand & Price Conservation Electricity Pricing in Ontario

CONSERVATION

Building new generation facilities is only part of the solution for ensuring Ontario has the electricity it needs to support our economy and quality of life. Reducing the amount of electricity we consume is just as important.

The Ontario government has set a goal of reducing peak energy demand by five per cent by 2007. This is roughly the same amount of electricity produced by three large coal-fired generation units. Conservation measures are the cheapest and cleanest way to address our power needs and can take many forms.

Energy Efficiency

Investments in energy efficiency ease the pressure for investments in new power plants and transmission lines. Indeed, demand-side management -- programs that reduce overall demand -- is an integral component of Ontario's approach to ensuring that there is enough electricity to meet our needs over the long term.

Homeowners can take steps to reduce their consumption by conducting home energy audits to identify potential savings and also by using energy more wisely. There are a number of programs available to help defray the cost of improving the energy efficiency of homes. For example, Natural Resources Canada offers grants for home energy retrofits.

Time-of-Use

An important component of energy demand is not just how much electricity is consumed, but also when it is consumed. As electricity must be consumed as soon as it is produced, there must be enough generation capacity to meet the highest levels of demand.

The wholesale market helps smooth out peaks in demand that can stretch the power system and exacerbate the pressure for additional generation capacity. Wholesale prices are typically lower when demand is low and vice versa. This creates an incentive for large-volume consumers to shift consumption to cheaper times of the day, resulting in lower peaks. Read more about demand response in the wholesale market.

Residential customers can also play a role by delaying some of their energy use until later in the evening or on the weekend, when energy demand is lower. The Ontario Government has committed to ensuring that smart meters that track when electricity is used are installed in all Ontario homes by 2010, which would allow Ontarians to save money if they run appliances in off-peak hours. More information about the smart meter initiative can be found on the Ontario Energy Board website

Renewable Energy Sources

As coal-fired generation is taken out of service, renewable energy sources will become even more critical to meet Ontario's long-term power needs. The provincial government has approved nine new waterpower and wind projects, enough to produce 975 megawatts (MW) of electricity. These projects represent another step towards meeting the Province's commitment to provide five per cent, or 1,350 MW, of generating capacity through renewable sources by 2007, and 10 per cent by 2010.

RELATED INFORMATION

Here are some electricity saving tips to help you save money and energy.

The Ontario Ministry of Energy also offers a number of energy saving tips on its web site.

For information on how you can participate in Ontario's Home Energy Audit and Retrofit Programs please visit www.homeenergyontario.ca

Canadian Energy Efficiency Centre is a non-profit organization that promotes energy efficiency in Canada. Its Web site offers a wealth of energy efficiency-related information.

 

RENEWABLE ENERGY

More information about renewable energy is available from a number of sources:

• Association of Power Producers of Ontario
• Canadian Wind Energy Association
• Ontario Waterpower Association