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Alternative Energy Sources Play Key Part in Lowering Ontario Hydro Rates

Positive news against the ongoing pursuit to control energy rates in Ontario. A report by The Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator IESO suggests that future electricity demand can be reduced over the next 20 years through efficiency measures.

Alternative Energy Sources

Terry Young, IESO’s Vice President of Policy, Engagement, and Innovation says supporting alternative energy generation including Ontario’s thriving greenhouse sector is a top priority.

Young comments, “Providing opportunities for energy efficiency and innovation will complement transmission upgrades by making best use of existing infrastructure. This will help ensure that greenhouses have the reliable and affordable electricity they need to grow.”

According to the IESO, Ontario’s greenhouse sector is the largest in Canada and is set to increase production up to 50 percent over the next five years.

Ontario households and businesses continue to pay higher than average prices for energy for a myriad of reasons including the Global Adjustment, a rate inflicted on consumers to bridge the gap between the price as determined in the wholesale market (HOEP) and the price necessary to cover contracted generation,

The recent news that the costs of keeping electricity rates in Ontario low have risen to $5.6 billion a year has further reinforced the need for uncovering alternative energy sources.  For medium to large scale businesses, for example, energy-efficiency initiatives can be made by upgrading or replacing buildings and energy-draining appliances with more efficient versions and taking actions to install rooftop solar panels or better managing the timing of energy consumption.

In Ontario, more efforts are being made to expand access to natural gas throughout rural regions and Indigenous communities.  The Natural Gas Expansion Support Program was launched under the Access to Natural Gas Act in 2018 to help extend access to this energy source. The program encouraged communities to partner with gas distributors on new projects and submit applications to the Ontario Energy Board.

Taking the Natural Gas Expansion Program further, the OEB will collect information about natural gas expansion opportunities across Ontario to develop a report on eligible projects for the ministry and plans to deliver its report to the government by August 2020.

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