Ontario’s updated Long-Term Energy Plan, Achieving Balance, reflects input from thousands of Ontarians. The plan encourages conservation and provides the clean, reliable and affordable energy Ontario will need now and into the future. It balances five principles that will guide future decisions: cost effectiveness, reliability, clean energy, community engagement, and an emphasis on conservation and demand management before building new generation.
Ontarians are benefitting from a clean, reliable and affordable energy system.
By the end of 2014, Ontario will be coal free. At the same time, increased energy efficiency and the changing shape of Ontario’s economy have reduced the demand for electricity.
Ontario is currently in a strong supply situation and has time to consider how to address future needs. Ontario is committing the resources to meet electricity demand growth that will be lower than anticipated as the economy continues its transition to an efficient, lower energy intensive future. We are ensuring we have the supply to meet the likely demand, and are keeping options open to meet higher demand if needed. We will report annually on the outlook for supply and demand. This will give us the opportunity to make adjustments so we can be both prudent and flexible in our energy investments.
The 2013 Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP) takes a pragmatic approach. The plan is designed to balance the following five principles: cost-effectiveness, reliability, clean energy, community engagement and an emphasis on conservation and demand management before building new generation.
The 2013 LTEP, by taking a pragmatic and flexible approach and balancing these five principles, builds on the foundation laid in the 2010 LTEP while also lowering the projected total system costs. The key elements of the 2013 LTEP include:
- The Ministry of Energy will work with its agencies to ensure they put conservation first in their planning, approval and procurement processes. The ministry will also work with the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to incorporate the policy of conservation first into distributor planning processes for both electricity and natural gas utilities.
- The province expects to offset almost all of the growth in electricity demand to 2032 by using programs and improved codes and standards. This will lessen the need for new supply. Our long-term conservation target of 30 terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2032 represents a 16% reduction in the forecast gross demand for electricity, an improvement over the 2010 LTEP.
- Ontario is aiming to use Demand Response (DR) to meet 10% of peak demand by 2025, equivalent to approximately 2,400 megawatts (MW) under forecast conditions. To encourage further development of DR in Ontario, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) will evolve existing DR programs and introduce new DR initiatives.
- The IESO will continue to examine and consult on the potential benefits and development of a capacity market, where different generation and demand resources compete to address capacity needs.
- The government is committed to promoting a co-ordinated approach to conservation and will encourage collaboration of conservation efforts among electricity and natural gas utilities.
- The government will work to make new financing tools available to consumers starting in 2015, including on-bill financing for energy efficiency retrofits.
- To help consumers choose the most efficient products for their homes and businesses, Ontario will provide information and incentives; it will also continue to show leadership in establishing minimum efficiency requirements for products such as water heaters, clothes dryers, televisions, fluorescent lamps, motors and boilers.
- The Green Button Initiative will give consumers access to their energy data and the ability to connect to mobile and web-based applications so they can analyze and manage their energy use.
- Social benchmarking can increase awareness of energy use and promote conservation. A social benchmarking pilot program is under way, led by the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) to test different approaches that enable consumers to compare their energy consumption with other similar consumers. Pending the success of the pilot program, the government will explore expanding social benchmarking and including other sectors.
- The government is also working with Ontario EcoSchools to bring more resources about energy conservation to the curriculum for students and teachers.
Ontario Energy Reporting
The Ministry of Energy, together with its agencies, has developed ontarioenergyreport.ca, a central website that provides easy access to information about Ontario’s electricity system and a data library that will be updated regularly. The library will continue to include the detailed modules that were developed for the Long-Term Energy Plan.
This information is available to the public and energy stakeholders alike. Users can access a range of energy system data through new electricity, and oil and natural gas quarterly reports. The reports highlight a number of key sector trends including changes in supply and demand, and system costs. The current and future quarterly reports will be available on ontarioenergyreport.ca.
- Ontario will not proceed at this time with the construction of two new nuclear reactors at the Darlington Generating Station. However, the Ministry of Energy will work with Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to maintain the site licence granted by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).
- Nuclear refurbishment is planned to begin at both Darlington and Bruce Generating Stations in 2016.
- During refurbishment, both OPG and Bruce Power will be subject to the strictest possible oversight to ensure safety, reliable supply and value for ratepayers.
- Nuclear refurbishment will follow seven principles established by the government, including minimizing commercial risk to the government and the ratepayer, and ensuring that operators and contractors are accountable for refurbishment costs and schedules.
- The Pickering Generating Station is expected to be in service until 2020. An earlier shutdown of the Pickering units may be possible depending on projected demand going forward, the progress of the fleet refurbishment program, and the timely completion of the Clarington Transformer Station.
- Ontario will support the export of our home-grown nuclear industry expertise, products and services to international markets.
- By 2025, 20,000 MW of renewable energy will be online, representing about half of Ontario’s installed capacity.
- Ontario will phase in wind, solar and bioenergy over a longer period than contemplated in the 2010 LTEP, with 10,700 MW online by 2021.
- Ontario will add to the hydroelectricity target, increasing the province’s portfolio to 9,300 MW by 2025.
- Recognizing that bioenergy facilities can provide flexible power supply and support local jobs in forestry and agriculture, Ontario will include opportunities to procure additional bioenergy as part of the new competitive process.
- Ontario will review targets for wind, solar, bioenergy and hydroelectricity annually as part of the Ontario Energy Report.
- The Ministry of Energy and the OPA are developing a new competitive procurement process for future renewable energy projects larger than 500 kilowatts (kW), which will take into account local needs and considerations. The ministry will seek to launch this procurement process in early 2014.
- Ontario will examine the potential for the microFIT program to evolve from a generation purchasing program to a net metering program.
Natural Gas/Combined Heat and Power
- Natural gas-fired generation will be used flexibly to respond to changes in provincial supply and demand and to support the operation of the system.
- The OPA will undertake targeted procurements for Combined Heat and Power (CHP) projects that focus on efficiency or regional capacity needs, including a new program targeting greenhouse operations, agri-food and district energy.
- Ontario will consider opportunities for clean imports from other jurisdictions when such imports would have system benefits and are cost effective for Ontario ratepayers.
Rate Mitigation and Efficiencies
- The 2013 LTEP cost and price forecasts are lower than previously forecast in 2010.
- Significant ratepayer savings will be realized as a result of reduced Feed-in Tariff (FIT) prices, the ability to dispatch wind generation, the amended Green Energy Investment Agreement, and the decision to defer new nuclear.
- The government will continue to work with its agencies—Hydro One, OPG, the IESO, the OPA and the OEB—to develop business plans and efficiency targets that will reduce agency costs and result in significant ratepayer savings.
- The government will encourage OPG and Hydro One to explore new business lines and opportunities inside and outside Ontario. These opportunities will help leverage existing areas of expertise and grow revenues for the benefit of Ontarians.
- The Distribution Sector Review Panel, which delivered its report in late 2012, identified the potential for significant savings among the province’s Local Distribution Companies (LDCs). The government expects that LDCs will pursue innovative partnerships and transformative initiatives that will result in electricity ratepayer savings.
- The government will look closely at key features of the OEB‘s new regulatory framework for LDCs such as the Scorecard, which will report annually on key LDC performance metrics, to develop further distribution sector policy options.
Enhanced Regional Planning
- The government will implement the IESO and the OPA recommendations for regional planning and the siting of large energy infrastructure.
- The ministry, the IESO and the OPA will work with municipal partners to ensure early and meaningful involvement in energy planning.
- Municipalities and Aboriginal communities will be encouraged to develop their own community-level energy plans to identify conservation opportunities and infrastructure priorities. The Municipal Energy Plan Program and the Aboriginal Community Energy Plan Program will support these efforts.
- Regional plans will promote the principle of Conservation First while also considering other cost-effective solutions such as new supply, transmission and distribution investments.
- Hydro One will be expected to begin planning for a new Northwest Bulk Transmission Line to increase supply and reliability to the area west of Thunder Bay. The area faces growth in demand, some of which is beyond what today’s system can supply. Hydro One and Infrastructure Ontario will be expected to work together to explore ways to ensure cost-effective procurement related to the line.
- Connecting remote northwestern First Nation communities is a priority for Ontario. Ontario will continue to work with the federal government to connect remote First Nation communities to the electricity grid or explore on-site alternatives for the few remaining communities where there may be more cost-effective solutions to reduce diesel use.
- All regions of the province can expect timely local transmission enhancements as needs emerge. Upgrades and investments will meet system goals, such as maintaining or improving reliability or providing the infrastructure necessary to support growth.
- The government understands the importance of First Nation and Métis participation in the development of energy and conservation projects. The government will continue to review participation programs to ensure they provide opportunities for First Nation and Métis communities.
- Ontario will launch an Aboriginal Transmission Fund in early 2014 to facilitate First Nation and Métis participation in transmission projects.
- The province expects that companies looking to develop new transmission lines will, in addition to fulfilling consultation obligations, involve potentially affected First Nation and Métis communities, where commercially feasible and where there is an interest.
- The government will continue to encourage Aboriginal participation, including through the FIT program and future large renewable energy procurements, in a way that reflects the unique circumstances of the First Nation and Métis communities.
- Ontario’s energy sector is an innovation leader. The government will seek to expand the Smart Grid Fund and build on previous success. The Smart Grid Fund has created more than 600 jobs and supported 11 projects developing innovative technologies.
- The government intends to initiate work, on a priority basis, to address regulatory barriers that limit the ability of energy storage technologies to compete in Ontario’s electricity market.
- By the end of 2014, the government will include storage technologies in our procurement process, starting with 50 MW and assessing additional engagement on an ongoing basis.
- The new competitive procurement process for renewable energy projects larger than 500 kW will also provide an opportunity to consider proposals that integrate energy storage with renewable energy generation.
Oil and Natural Gas
- Ontario relies on oil and natural gas to support basic needs such as heat and transportation. These fuels are also essential to Ontario’s economy and quality of life.
- The government will work with gas distributors and municipalities to pursue options to expand natural gas infrastructure to service more communities in rural and northern Ontario.
- Ontario has adopted principles it will use to review large scale pipeline projects to ensure that they meet the highest environmental and safety standards as well as benefit Ontario’s economy.
- News Release: Ontario Releases Long-Term Energy Plan
- The results of the Long-Term Energy Plan online survey are published in Ontario’s Open Data Catalogue.
- Read Conservation First: A Renewed Vision for Energy Conservation in Ontario
- Download a brochure (PDF), Achieving Balance: Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan, available in the following languages:
Visit the emPOWERme website to learn more about energy in Ontario