Codes and standards are among the most effective ways to achieve the provinces conservation goals, Love emphasized, saying that the OPA will be pursuing enhanced codes and standards in 2008. As a means of extending the provincial drive to the local government level, he said he would be encouraging the appointment of municipal energy conservation officers to empower all of the provinces communities to conserve energy.
Speaking to a forum of the Ontario Energy Network, Love recapped a number of positive conservation developments over the past year:
Ontario will meet its peak demand reduction target of 1,350 megawatts by 2007.
Ontario consumers have reduced their electricity consumption by about five percent per capita (weather-adjusted), between January and June 2007, compared to 2005.
The Ontario government has bettered its own 2007 target of 10 percent energy savings in government buildings by an additional two percent.
However, Love believes more must be done to save a limited and expensive resource and reach long-term goals. Love is pushing for the government to adopt his other recommendations, including:
The Ministry of Energy should develop a comprehensive, integrated energy conservation policy for all government departments that aligns electricity policies with other related policies; prescribed ministries should commit to energy conservation in their statements of environmental values.
The Ministry of Energy should issue regulations under the Energy Conservation Leadership Act to designate combined heat and power projects, clotheslines and solar collectors so that they may be used where there are restrictions that would otherwise impede their use.
The Ministry of Energy should raise the minimum energy performance standards for six appliances now exempt from provincial retail sales tax to the highest levels in North America.
Love also renewed his call, first made this summer, for the appointment of municipal energy conservation officers across Ontario: Ensuring that every city, town and/or region has a local champion for energy conservation will help meet our goal of saving 1,350 MW by 2010 and 6,300 MW by 2025, said Love.
Some Ontario communities already have someone performing this function to some degree every Ontario community needs one.
Love added that: We must unify energy conservation efforts across the province to include all levels of government, institutions, businesses, and consumers. He told the senior energy industry representatives that its time for everyone to: Think. Believe. Act. when it comes to energy conservation Think about conservation; Believe they can make a difference and Act to make it happen.
Municipalities interested in getting more information about the municipal energy conservation officer concept or that want to register the names of their appointees should contact the Chief Energy Conservation Officer at: CECO@conservationbureau.on.ca.