Energy efficiency makes sense

When you consider how much it costs to extract, generate, transmit, measure, regulate and bill for energy, it makes sense to use energy as efficiently as possible. Unfortunately, we in Toronto are wasting a lot of energy – and producing a lot of unnecessary greenhouse gas emission along the way.

But many say that energy efficiency is too expensive. They point to the many millions that the province is spending on conservation initiatives and to their own increasing electricity bills as evidence that energy efficiency doesn’t make financial sense.  Of course, the truth is without conservation programs, those bills would actually be rising even faster.

The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, the independent, government-appointed environmental watchdog, takes this on. The cost of energy conservation in Ontario in 2010 boils down to this:  only 1.5% of cost of a kilowatt hour of electricity was for energy efficiency initiatives.  Much less than many people think.  Much less than it would have cost to generate that energy.

It’s the same all over North America.  A new report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) describes how Texas, through energy efficiency, can meet the state’s growing electricity needs while savings businesses and households billions on energy costs.

“The study examined a set of six alternative energy efficiency scenarios that cost-effectively reduce electricity demand. The assessment suggests that an expanded set of productivity investments across the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors would not only reduce the growth in electricity demand, they would actually reduce overall electricity consumption 12% to 19% below 2010 levels by 2030. The combination of supply-side efficiency improvements, such as those made possible by combined heat and power technologies, and the expanded efficiency improvements in homes and businesses would save ratepayers a net $12 to $14 billion over the next two decades.“

From Texas to Ontario, from homes to factories, energy efficiency makes sense. That is why TAF’s strategic plan is all about Unleashing the Power of Efficiency.

Lyle Jones

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