Lightning

Energy Policy

Backgrounder August 09, 2022

Energy policy in Ontario covers electricity generation, transmission and conservation, as well as energy facilities, such as those for wind, solar, and renewable natural gas (biogas). The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) regulates energy rates and coordinates the electricity system in Ontario, and the province sets broad energy policy through mandates to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB). Both the IESO and OEB receive direction from the Ontario Ministry of Energy.  

Municipal governments are increasingly involved in energy policy. As large consumers of energy for public facilities, energy prices have an impact on municipal budgets. Energy policies also impact large industrial consumers and residential customers, both critical ratepayers in the community as well as sources for increased economic development activity. Finally, residents are calling for municipal governments to take action against climate change by decarbonizing energy supplies and reducing energy consumption. Municipal governments must have a voice in energy policy to ensure that these economic, environmental, and social concerns are adequately considered.

Municipal Implications

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. Energy systems must be resilient to the changing climate and other system risks. This approach to managing energy is key to supporting Ontario’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery and ensuring a stable and reliable energy supply for the future.

AMO continues to advocate for provincial action on a number of key energy items:

  • Ensure that Local Distribution Companies (LDCs) remain solvent and ready to support Ontario’s economic recovery from COVID-19 and beyond.
  • Provide more practical incentives to municipal governments, local businesses, and citizens to increase participation in energy conservation programs and practices (e.g., net zero construction).
  • Support Municipal Energy Plans and the use of local improvement charges to promote green energy.
  • Support the expansion of programs that provide electricity data to consumers.
  • Wherever locally supported, encourage distributed generation projects to meet local energy needs. 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.
  • Increase municipal participation and representation in regional energy planning processes to ensure an adequate energy supply for economic and residential growth.

Contact:

Amber Crawford
Senior Advisor