Every 3 years, the Ontario government updates the Long-Term Energy Plan.
Last week, representatives from the Ministry of Energy came to #PTBO to consult with our local community about energy planning and Peterborough residents were invited to voice their energy planning concerns.
The Ministry is visiting 32 communities to receive feedback from the public about the plan.
One of the key take home messages from the meeting was that some Ontarians can improve their energy literacy.
This is a problem because if people do not understand where our energy comes from and how it works, it is difficult to have an informed discussion about how to conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at home.
But have no fear – we have written this blog to help you understand some key points about your electricity – and some key ways that you can participate in the conversation on how to make a #green difference.
You can participate in voicing your opinions to help shape the Long-Term Energy Plan.
Here are 8 main topic areas for you join the conversation:
- Energy use – We use electricity in many ways, including lighting, heating, and driving. Conventional fossil fuels, such as natural gas, gasoline, and propane,help power these activities, which contribute to the negative consequences of climate change. An important piece of the Peterborough Climate Change Action Plan are the energy retrofits that help residents become more energy efficient and achieve significant energy savings 🙂
- Supplying electricity – Our energy comes from various sources. In Ontario, 58% of our electricity products is sourced from nuclear power, 10% from Natural Gas, 23% from water and 9% from solar/wind/bioenergy. There are various ways to supply electricity , such as hydroelectric dams and solar and wind projects, which can be more efficient ways to generate energy.
- Fossil Fuels- Because Ontario has an ambitious target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, actions must be implemented to reduce our dependency on the burning of conventional fuels. Switching to electric vehicles and stricter emission standards for new buildings are some ways to begin this shift. Here at home, the PTBO Climate Change Action Plan is exploring active transportation initiatives and carpool lot networks. This can helps encourage community members to rely more heavily on public transportation, and the transition to cleaner…and more #greener fuel sources.
- Investing in Electricity – Ontario has invested $35 billion in new and refurbished electricity generation and $15 billion to enhance and renew the transmission and distribution system. Eliminating coal from our electricity system has been a major goal, and planning for more renewable energy projects are underway. Our community is also exploring Community Energy Plans (CEPs), which help describe how energy is used in our communities. The CEPs help outline how energy affects us including energy cost, energy security, and environmental impacts. CEPs can also help our community design better community objectives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create local jobs. There are also changes in building codes to reflect the shift to net-zero buildings.
- The Price of Energy – The province is looking for feedback to see what the public has to say about ways that energy providers can better manage the cost of energy. Whether it is improving our local energy infrastructure or switching to renewable, the province wants to hear from you.
- Carbon Pricing – The Cap and Trade System – Ontario has proposed a carbon pricing system as one way to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This system sets a predetermined “cap” on emissions. If companies exceed a certain carbon allowance, they pay certain fees, but if they emit less, they can “trade” carbon credits in the market.This places an economic incentive to reduce fossil fuels, as companies can buy and sell carbon emissions. In the short-term, homeowners may see a hike in prices (see below) but this provides a greater opportunity for people and businesses to reduce greenhouse gases.
- In the #PTBO Community – Improving the energy efficiency in local businesses and public buildings, transitioning to electric vehicles, and sourcing energy from renewable energy are all ways that the Peterborough community can help transition to a #greener economy. The sale of Peterborough Distribution Inc. to Hydro One is currently being considered by City Council. Residents of #PTBO should be aware of what is being discussed and the potential implications of either decision, either to sell or not to sell, as it will have an impact on the community for years to come.In addition, the Green Business program (a partnership between GreenUP, Peterborough Utilities and the Chamber of Commerce) is also a great resource for information about energy efficiency savings for businesses.
- Local Utilities Programs – There are various ways to participate in energy conservation programs available through Peterborough Distribution Inc., such as Save on Energy coupons for LED light bulbs. The Climate Change Action Plan will also work with utilities to deliver coordinated energy retrofit programs which will improve energy and water efficiency of existing buildings (including homes) and business operations. Installing LED light bulbs will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a smaller level – but still #green, nonetheless!
The Ontario Long-Term Energy Plan needs YOU to participate in the conversation to transition to a #greener community.
Until next time…Thanks for reading!