Liberals continue to waste money by failing to save energy

For Immediate ReleaseJanuary 8, 2013
(Queen’s Park): Saving energy is much cheaper than new generation, but even with record deficits the Liberal government continues to waste money by failing to develop a long-term comprehensive energy efficiency plan.
“The Liberal’s lack of leadership on conservation is costing us money and failing to prepare Ontario for the future,” says GPO leader Mike Schreiner. “The cheapest and greenest kilowatt is the one that we save today and tomorrow.”
Today’s Annual Energy Conservation Report from the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario confirms that energy conservation is cheaper than generation, and criticizes the Liberal government for lacking a long-term plan to save energy. Despite the Green Energy Act’s promise to promote conservation, the government’s unbalanced approach has focused on expensive new sources of generating electricity like new nuclear.
“The Liberals are a bait and switch government,” says Schreiner. “They promise conservation, then they kill successful programs that help people save energy and money. Now they–along with the official opposition–want to waste billions on new nuclear, driving up electricity debt and prices even more.”
The best way to save money and to create jobs is to prioritize energy efficiency over new nuclear. According to calculations by Energy Savvy, for half the cost of a new nuclear power plant, we can retrofit 1.6 million homes, save the same amount of electricity and create 90 times more jobs.
“The Liberals cannot be trusted with Ontario’s green future,” says GPO deputy leader and finance critic Kevin O’Donnell. “Not only have they left Ontario lagging behind with no long-term plan to conserve energy, they have moved backwards by failing to replace successful programs such as the Home Energy Savings Program.”
The GPO is calling for a comprehensive energy efficiency plan that includes a Green Building Program to help tenants, home owners, and businesses save money by using less energy. The plan would increase the number of skilled jobs and make businesses more competitive, while reducing greenhouse gas pollution.  
By abandoning its plan to save money by reducing energy use in schools by 10 percent, the government is also missing an opportunity to redirect money to classroom education. The GPO is calling on the government to make data of energy use in schools public so that school boards have the information they need to save energy and money.