August 2017
Backgrounder

Energy policy in Ontario covers electricity generation, transmission and conservation, as well as energy facilities, including renewable energy sources. Municipal interest in energy is two-fold. First, as large consumers of energy for public facilities, municipal budgets are impacted by energy prices. Second, energy policies impact large industrial consumers and residential customers, both critical ratepayers in the community. As a result, municipal governments need a voice in energy policy.

AMO believes the best approach to managing energy is long-term system planning that considers social and environmental policy, as well as financial and economic impacts. Due to the impacts of provincial energy policy on municipal governments, AMO continues to advocate for the Province to act on a number of key items:

Energy Pricing & Distribution
  • Monitor the impacts of new price relief policies, particularly in terms of attracting and retaining industrial and commercial businesses.
  • Create opportunity for the savings from “shoulder-to-shoulder” service delivery, in which local distribution companies merge in such a way as to serve a contiguous geographic area.
Promoting Conservation
  • Provide more information about energy costs, savings, projections and assumptions to encourage energy conservation.
  • Provide more practical incentives to municipal governments, local businesses and citizens to increase participation in conservation programs.
  • Provide local residents and businesses with a broad, proactive electricity education strategy to improve Ontarians’ overall energy literacy.
  • AMO supports recent efforts to encourage Municipal Energy Plans, the use of local improvement charges to promote green energy, and the expansion of the Green Button program, which provides electricity data to consumers.
Regional Energy System Planning
  • Support local generation projects in a way that meets local energy needs, recognizing that municipal ownership of energy generation and distribution reduces the need to transmit power long distances, creates local jobs and contributes to a stable energy system.
  • Eliminate the barriers between electricity, natural gas and other sources of energy and move towards more integrated and longer term planning.
  • Allow municipalities to take part in regional energy planning and realize the benefits and savings of shared energy services and programs amongst local distribution companies.
  • Include a life-cycle cost analysis of energy projects, so Ontarians can clearly understand the costs and benefits of planned investments and how specific projects fit into our energy system.
AMO has also advocated for public and transparent reporting on the potential sale of any government asset (not just Hydro One). The Province must show they are fully dedicated to the Province’s $131 billion 10-year infrastructure fund, $31 billion of which is for municipal infrastructure. AMO will continue to work towards a system of electricity delivery that is efficient and allows for economic development that benefits the public good.