How to lower your electricity bills and GHG emissions

Categories: How To
Published on: June 13, 2016

Ontario Clean Air Alliance / Angela Bischoff / 13 June 2016

pchoiceswebWhen you turn on your computer, lamp or TV do you think about the source of the electricity you are using? Its climate impact? Its cost?

Most of us don’t give a second thought to these concerns when we hit the “on” switch, but there are important decisions pending around all of these issues in Ontario.

Our new report, Power Choices: Designing an electricity system for a rapidly changing world looks at how we could redesign our electricity system to reduce costs, lower its climate impact, and create new jobs and economic opportunities.

Right now, Ontario is pursuing a highly contradictory approach: trying to build a new green power industry while keeping a dying nuclear industry on life support; and encouraging stronger conservation efforts while producing money- losing surplus power by keeping aging reactors online. It’s not economically rational or effective and has resulted in higher than necessary electricity bills for us all. It will also result in higher greenhouse gas emissions when natural gas generation is doubled over the next couple of decades to cover for nuclear units undergoing rebuilding.

We can’t afford to continue with such an illogical approach – from either a financial or climate perspective. That’s why our report outlines a better recipe: Combine strong efficiency and conservation efforts with low cost water power from Quebec and made-in-Ontario green power. These will meet our electricity needs while lowering costs and emissions.

Over the next few months, the Wynne government will be revising the province’s Long Term Energy Plan. The current plan essentially ends further development of renewable energy in 2021, while prioritizing the rebuilding of 10 aging nuclear reactors. It talks about the importance of conservation, but doesn’t put mechanisms in place to ensure we pay a competitive price for power savings. It suggests we talk to Quebec about increasing imports of its water power, but makes no commitment to actually putting the infrastructure in place to allow us to maximize the savings we could get by tapping into Quebec’s growing surplus of low-cost electricity.

Ontario needs a new vision for energyand thanks to your support, Ontario Clean Air Alliance Research is here to provide it.