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Energy Matters: Q1/2017

Hot off the press, the first Energy Services newsletter! Each quarter, we’ll share news that affects our sector on energy solutions, markets, policy, and funding.

In this issue of Energy Matters, read about:

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Provincial Policy Updates

Two key energy and climate change initiatives took effect on January 1, 2017 that will impact your operations and bottom line:

Cap and Trade: Energy Pricing and Potential Funding

CCAP

The cap and trade program is part of Ontario’s Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan. It increases the price of natural gas and other energy commodities. However the government has also committed to fund projects in our sector that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, using revenues generated from the program.

HSC will share updates on this program as they become available. In the meantime, further reading is available below.

Download our Cap and Trade 101 More about the Cap and Trade Program

 

building

New for Social Housing: Required Energy Data Reporting

The Province’s Large Building Energy & Water Benchmarking Program (EWRB) also took effect. The regulation requires building/property owners to report annual energy, water, greenhouse gas emissions, and provide basic building information to the Ministry of Energy. HSC will share updates on EWRB guidelines when they become available.

The program is being implemented gradually, based on building size. Housing providers will need to start reporting in 2018:

  • Buildings >100,000 ft2 report on 2017 data by July 1, 2018
  • Buildings >50,000 ft2 report on 2018 data by July 1, 2019

HSC’s Utility Management Program (UMP) can help housing providers meet EWRB requirements and identify emissions reduction projects. Contact us to find out more.

 

In Review: Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan

The Province’s Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP) will be updated later this year.

The LTEP focuses on the future of Ontario’s energy systems and its plan to ensure adequate electricity supply. While such a plan might seem removed from housing operations, providers will be impacted by the direction it takes– in terms of higher or lower energy pricing, or changes to conservation incentive programs.

To ensure an updated LTEP benefits our sector, HSC submitted input on LTEP with support from several sector organizations.

Interested in more information on LTEP? Contact us. We’re happy to help.

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New electricity rebate takes effect

hydro-meter

Effective January 1, 2017, housing providers and residents who pay for electricity will receive an 8 percent, before-tax rebate on their bills — due to the Ontario Rebate for Electricity Consumers Act, 2016. Rural consumers, who face steep transmission charges, will be offered additional relief.

Housing providers who already claim back the provincial HST portion of their electricity bills can continue to do so and will also receive the new rebate.

In addition, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has decided to hold prices steady for electricity consumers on the Regulated Price Plan (RPP) rates. Electricity prices set in May 1, 2016 are expected remain the same for at least the next six months. Rates for customers who pay tiered RPP prices will also stay the same.

Despite the rebate and OEB decisions, market analysts believe energy prices are only going up. With natural gas generation setting the Hourly Ontario Energy Price approximately 36% of the time, and a more expensive longer term supply mix (solar, wind, nuclear, etc.), the pressure to increase electricity prices is strong. The cost of carbon, through Ontario’s cap and trade program, is hitting natural gas bills this year as well, and this cost will also work its way into electricity rates through the Global Adjustment over time.

Reducing energy consumption remains the best way to control utility costs in housing. HSC has several programs to help providers manage and reduce consumption, such as energy monitoring, resident engagement, retrofit and incentive support, and project management services.

If you’d like more information about how these changes will impact you, feel free to contact the HSC Energy Services team.

 

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CommunityChampions

Small Pilot Delivers Big Results

In 2016, Housing York reduced electricity consumption by 12% at Pineview Terrace, a seniors’ residence in Keswick. They took a systematic approach which involved selecting the right building, implementing measures and engaging staff and residents. Read more about the pilot that’s currently underway.

Download the Case Study

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HSC Energy Services On the Go

HSC Energy Services is committed to helping providers and Service Managers control utility costs and conserve. In the final quarter of 2016, we took action by:

  • Putting on a successful Energy Forum, featuring presentations from sector innovators
  • Delivering Community Champion workshops in Dufferin, York, Thunder Bay, Toronto, and Timmins

We also submitted feedback to the Ontario government on the Long-Term Energy Plan and Electricity Rebate legislation. In Q1/2017, we’ll be:

  • Consulting on the IESO’s Mid-Term Review of utility conservation programs
  • Conducting Community Champion workshops
  • Engaging our gas customers, and much more!
View Resources from the 2016 Energy Forum View the Submission on the Long Term Energy Plan View the Submission on the Electricity Rebate

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UMP

UMP Reminders

If you’re a user of UMP, please be advised that you’ll no longer receive separate, quarterly notifications that your utility benchmarking report is ready.  This newsletter will replace these notifications and will signal the availability of your report.

Login to UMP

Lost your UMP log-in information? We can help. Just send us an email specifying the building to receive your UMP login.

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