August 2018
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, energy prices impact municipal budgets. 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 pricing policies, particularly in terms of attracting and retaining industrial and commercial businesses.
  • Create 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.
  • Encourage Municipal Energy Plans, the use of local improvement charges to promote green energy, and the expansion of programs that provide electricity data to consumers.
Regional Energy System Planning
  • Support local generation projects to meet 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.
  • Develop an overview of how the assets of the electricity grid will evolve as distributed generation takes hold.
  • Eliminate the barriers between electricity, natural gas and other sources of energy and move towards more integrated and longer term planning.
  • 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.