New Ontario initiative aims to manage energy use

- Ontario is aiming to provide electricity consumers with greater access to information about their energy consumption and encourage the creation of new, innovative tools for consumers to help conserve energy and save on electricity costs.

A working group led by the province and the MaRS Discovery District will explore an Ontario Green Button initiative that would use innovative smart grid technology to give families and businesses direct, timely access to their own energy data through a secure download from their utility's website. A standard data format for Ontario's utilities would also encourage app developers to create new tools to help Ontarians manage their energy use from their computers and smart devices.

Energy conservation while managing consumer electricity cost is part of the Ontario government's plan to modernize the province's electricity infrastructure.

QUICK FACTS - In January 2012, the United States Department of Energy launched its Green Button initiative. Ontario is taking steps to become the first to establish a province-wide Green Button initiative.

- Smart grid technology uses two-way digital communications to help consumers control their electricity use and costs while ensuring consumers have reliable power by letting utility companies pinpoint and automatically fix power outages.

- Ontario has completed full rollout of smart meters to homes and small business consumers across the province, over 4.7 million in total.

- The province’s conservation efforts have decreased electricity demand by over 1,900 megawatts between 2005 and 2011 — the equivalent of over 600,000 homes being taken off the grid.


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