The provincial government recently released its 2017 Long Term Energy Plan (LTEP). The plan features eight
chapters on affordability and accessibility, conservation, flexibility, innovation, responding to climate change, First Nation and Metis capacity and leadership, regional solutions, and energy conservation and commitment.
In the past decade electricity prices have gone up significantly. Repairs to the infrastructure of the system and the cost of conservation have been identified as just a couple of reasons why this has happened. The reality is that we need to produce electricity to fuel society and the economy. Therefore, the necessity of long term planning in the energy sector goes without saying. For without prudent planning future generations will be left in the dark by the energy file.
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has analyzed the document and offers some insight as to the impact for the business community across the province.
Affordability and accessibility are key components of long term planning. The Peterborough Chamber of
Commerce authored a policy resolution that also asks for a comprehensive review of the costs of the system to understand where there are spikes and where efficiencies can be found. Reducing electricity costs for industry and small business is a top priority.
Flexibility ensures that Ontario has the ability to respond to changing market conditions, allowing the province to balance electricity demand and supply. Market Renewal could transform Ontario’s wholesale electricity market and ultimately result in a more competitive and flexible energy procurement system.
When it comes to innovation, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce has long recognized that new technologies such as energy storage will be complementary to peaking resources such as wind and solar, while supporting the baseload operation of nuclear power. The OCC was pleased to see a commitment to nuclear refurbishment projects such as Darlington, the life extension project at the Bruce Power facility, and the continued operations of Pickering mentioned explicitly.
Transparency on electricity bills is key and there continues to be a need to create a separate line item on natural gas bills that breaks out cap and trade-related costs, especially if natural gas is to be considered as part of regional solutions to energy needs.
On the issue of climate change, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce asks that the Climate Change Action Plan seeks alignment between energy goals and infrastructure planning.
One final piece of the energy puzzle that has the potential to offer energy relief is the use of different
procurement models. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce feels that this is one very significant way to ensure competitive and affordable rates into the future.
Long Term Energy Plan
Ontario Chamber of Commerce Rapid Policy Update