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Electricity is the Answer – New report from Electricity Distributors Association


November 16, 2011
By Anthony Capkun

November 16, 2011 – The Electricity Distributors Association of Ontario (EDA) released a report “Electricity is the Answer”, which offers 10 recommendations for “re-tooling the sector that will lead to economic development, investment and jobs”. The report also proposes changes to regulation that can lead to cost savings, innovation and better system reliability.

“Electricity will power Ontario’s future, but the current structure and regulation of the province’s electricity sector stifles much-needed innovation and investment,” said Jim Keech, EDA chair. “Our sector has to get ready for new technologies, like electric vehicles, and ever-increasing consumer demand.”

The report calls on the provincial government to:

• Review the relationship between the government, the electricity industry and its regulatory agencies; the report proposes that an arms-length relationship is best-suited for promoting efficiency and more effective decision-making.
• Remove regulatory restrictions that prevent local electricity utilities from providing other services, like municipal water and sewer, which can lead to cost savings.
• Consider an evolutionary approach as the preferred model, as major restructuring of transmission and distribution is not warranted at this time.
• Consider merging the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) and the Ontario Power Authority (OPA), or rationalizing their responsibilities.
• Streamline the regulation of electricity delivery to remove barriers to investment in system repair and upgrades.
• Allow local utilities more flexibility to design and deliver conservation programs that meet their customers’ needs.

“Everything about electricity is changing… the way we make it, move it, measure it and use it,” Keech added. “The government needs to seize this opportunity and start managing the electricity sector as an opportunity, not a problem. We need input from all electricity industry players to create a reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity system for the future.”

The full report is available on the EDA website at www.eda-on.ca.

The Electricity Distributors Association represents Ontario’s local electricity distributors.