We’re pleased that the Ontario government is following through on its commitment to conservation. This budget funds programs that encourage large and small businesses to conserve electricity. Energy conservation is the cheapest form of electricity, and can benefit both the environment and our pocketbooks.
While we are pleased to see energy-saving programs introduced or expanded for businesses, we hope to see programs, such as on-bill financing of capital investments in energy savings, extended to all Ontario residential electricity and gas customers as soon as possible. Opportunities to save energy and money should include citizens, not just businesses.
The key new conservation initiatives in the budget are: ‎

New on-bill financing for small business owners who wish to invest in energy conservation. Starting in 2015 this will allow businesses to invest in energy conservation upgrades and then repay the costs through their utility bills.
A renewed six year commitment to a Conservation and Demand Management framework to continue conservation incentives for small businesses.
Changes to the existing Industrial Conservation Initiative that helps reduce industry’s electricity consumption during peak demand periods. More companies will be eligible as the threshold for participation will drop from 5 MW of monthly peak power demand to 3 MW. This is expected to allow companies to reduce their energy bills by 15 to 20 per cent.

Encouraging wider applications of electricity conservation can reduce harmful emissions from fossil fuel generation, cut peak-demand electricity needs (and therefore total power-plant capacity), decrease future needs to construct new generation facilities, and lower electricity costs that make Ontario companies less competitive.
About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.
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For more information, or media requests, please contact:
Naomi Carniol, Environmental Defence 416-570-2878 (cell); ncarniol@environmentaldefence.ca