Yesterday, the Ontario Auditor General released a 2020 Value-for-Money-Audit which includes a section on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from energy use in buildings. Efficiency Canada’s 2020 Provincial Energy Efficiency Scorecard, released on Monday and covered by Exchangemagazine.com, provides added insight to the Auditor General’s findings, showing how Ontario compares to other provinces and US states.
The Audit noted that:
• The Energy and Mines Ministry does not have an integrated long-term energy plan that aligns natural gas and electricity use in buildings with Ontario’s 2030 emission-reduction target. The Ministry has also made little to no progress on other Environment Plan initiatives, including expanding renewable natural gas and encouraging the disclosure of home energy use.
• The Ontario Energy Board needs an updated framework for natural gas conservation programs. Its current framework expires in 2020. This means conservation efforts are likely to remain at current levels, and opportunities for further emissions reductions may be missed.
• Neither Ministry assesses or enforces compliance with its building energy efficiency programs, despite risks of non-compliance.
The 2020 Scorecard noted that Ontario is a traditional leader in areas such as energy efficient building codes, appliance and equipment standards, building energy reporting, and conservation programs, however, the 2020 Scorecard registered steep reductions in electricity savings and program spending.
The Scorecard highlights:
• Ontario ranks fourth in natural gas and fossil fuel energy savings. In 2018, Ontario saved 0.4% of energy demand. While in 2019 Quebec and PEI saved 0.9% and Nova Scotia saved 0.5%. (table 10, pg. 44)
• Ontario ranks 5th in natural gas and fossil fuel saving targets (table 29, pg. 75).
• Ontario scored low in tracking of building code compliance activities, which considers areas such as regular assessments, dedicated staff resources, training and technical assistance, consistent terminology, energy coaches, etc. British Columbia leads in this area because compliance is integrated into the BC Energy Step Code, which moves the province towards net-zero energy-ready building performance (pg. 152-155)
Few provinces have moved ahead with the disclosure of home energy use. In Portland, energy labels enable quicker and deeper savings (pg. 156)
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