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Legislation Affecting Energy Advisers

Deadline looms for public agencies

On January 1, 2012, a new regulation came into effect under the Ontario Green Energy Act of 2009, one that will have consequences for numerous public agencies, and the energy advisers and consultants who service them.  Dubbed Ontario Regulation 397/11: Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plans, the new rule directs certain public agencies in the province to prepare and make available to the public not only their annual energy consumption, but also their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  The deadline for the initial reporting is July 1, 2013.

The following agencies will be affected by this legislation.

  • Municipalities and municipal service boards
  • Post-secondary educational institutions
  • School boards
  • Public hospitals

Such organizations, known collectively as the MUSH sector (Municipalities, Universities, Schools, Hospitals), will be required to provide energy consumption data by type for prescribed operations for 2011.  This data, along with GHG emissions, must be provided to the Ministry using a standardized provincial template.  It must also be published on the organizations’ internal and external websites, and be available in printed form through their head offices.  This must be repeated on an annual basis.

In addition, starting on July 1, 2014, each of these agencies must also publish and provide to the Ministry and the public a list of goals for conserving and reducing energy consumption, proposed measures for achieving them, associated costs and savings, a description of any renewable energy implementations, timelines, and confirmation of approval by senior management.

Beginning on July 1, 2019, and every fifth year after that, each organization must also report on actual results achieved, with revised estimates of in-place and proposed measures, and a list of proposed changes.

Obviously, this legislation can be a boon for energy advisors and sustainability consultants, but can also be challenging for organizations not used to tracking data at a granular level.  For this reason, an early start on data collection is essential.  It is also advisable to get you clients to log in to the Ontario Ministry of Energy system, so that both you and your client can get familiar with the reporting template.

The full details of O.Reg. 397/11 can be found at http://www.energy.gov.on.ca/en/green-energy-act/conservation-for-public-agencies/.

Summary of Requirements

RequirementInitial Deadline
Complete template for 2011July 1, 2013
Complete energy conservation and demand management planJuly 1, 2014
Updated resultsJuly 1, 2019

J.P. Brown is a sustainability analyst with e3 Solutions, a Toronto-based environmental software company.  He also sits on Seneca College’s Environmental Committee, and assisted in the preparation of its Sustainability 2020 whitepaper.

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