On top of that the brain trust in Queen’s Park has decided to shut down the coal fired generating plants. Nothing better guarantees an increase in the price of a commodity than limiting the supply. The Liberals will tell you that increasing the cost of electricity will encourage us all to reduce consumption. All it will do is convince employers to take their businesses to where the cost of energy is less.
To create a conservation culture in Ontario and become a leader in energy efficiency, the government is facilitating a number of key initiatives:
introducing flexible, time-of-use pricing for electricity;
targeting to reduce Ontario’s projected peak electricity demand by five percent by 2007;
commiting to install a smart electricity meter in 800,000 homes and small businesses by the end of 2007 and throughout Ontario by 2010; and
*]introducing legislation to enable implementation of the government’s smart metering initiative and conservation targets.
That would actually worsen the problem. If the demand for electricity was fairly constant then increasing the supply would make more sense. The main problem is that there is a very sharp and high demand in the summer. We have to have production and distribution capability in place and maintained all year long just to be there for when the demand is high.
Lets say you typically have an HVAC come once a year at the begining of the summer to service your air conditioner. No big problem. Now lets say you have to hire a an HVAC to watch over and maintain your AC 24hrs a day, 365 days of the year (2:00am in the middile of January he is still standing out there) so that it doesn’t get stolen (which I hear happens in some areas), hit by a terrorist attack, etc. just so that the AC will be available and ready for those few days you need it. Can you imagine what a cost that would be. That is the type of thing the ultility is going through.
If conservation is really practiced instead of lip service being paid, there will be lots of power for all (unless populations strongly increase).
Example from the first energy crunch of 1977-85: There were free or subsidized energy audits given to commercial and industrial enterprises. Some recommended measures showed paybacks of under 3 years and were not given government assistance. That’s a 33% or better return…some companies never improved their efficiency!!!
Virtually no new power sources will be cheaper to run than what we already have built…learn to spread the use around…the term used by utilities is “load level”. Some smaller electric co-operatives in the US are reportedly taking on new customers without having to build new supply…load shedding, time of use rate structure, flourescents, more efficient appliances
Same has happened with Point Lepreau in New Brunswick.
Notice that no where in these studies do we see the cost of the saved kWh…the one that can be used by someone else and precludes the need for more power plants!! That kWh will provide much more work widely distributed at the local level than any power plant ever will. And these large power plants (especially nuclear) usually get large gov tax breaks or subsidies!!! Put that money into conservation/efficiency/alternatives first before we have to build more plants.
A few years back, it was estimated by the Rocky Mountain Institute, I believe, that all our “instant on” TV’s, etc. that are never really “off”, need the equivalent of 19 nuclear plants running full time so we can have the instant on/no warm up" feature (called standby power)!!!
Here are some items from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Council (ACEEE: known as “A-C-triple E”):
*"Many types of electronic equipment used in the home continuously use small amounts of power, even when they are turned off. Examples include TVs, VCRs, microwave ovens, and many rechargeable products. **Aggregated over the many hours in a year and the number of products in a typical home, this ***
***“standby”*power use amounts to about 5% of electricity use in a typical home. More efficient power supplies and other technical improvements could reduce this standby power use by about 75% in the vast majority of cases, at a typical cost of only a few dollars per product. President Bush recently called these equipment “vampires” and announced his proposal to generally require government agencies to purchase products with standby energy use of 1 W or less. For some of these products, the ENERGY STAR program awards special labels to identify power-thrifty designs. We recommend that states and/or Congress adopt a standby power limit of 1 W for all of these products, but allow state agencies or DOE to set higher standards where manufacturers can demonstrate that a 1 W limit is not technically feasible and economically justified."
"*Another significant benefit from appliance standards is their impact on summer peak load. We estimate that the proposed standards would save a total of over 54 GW of power in the year 2020. This is roughly equal to the generating capacity of 180 average power plants (i.e., 300 MW). This could significantly contribute to improved electric system reliability by eliminating the need for additional power plants and reducing the load on already stressed transmission and distribution systems. *
[FONT=TimesNewRoman]Emissions reductions from the reduced energy consumption would also be significant. In the year 2020, over 34 MMT of carbon could be reduced, which would not only improve air quality, but would also help the United States meet the global goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The 34 MMT of carbon is equivalent to the annual carbon emissions from over 27 million “average” passenger cars (EPA 1997). These standards would also contribute to better air quality by reducing over 100,000 metric tons (MT) of smog-forming NOx, 440,000 MT of SOx (the main component of acid rain), and 5,300 tons of fine particulate matter."
I put those who think this could save money right up there with the new fluorescent screw in bulbs.
For 7 months a year I heat my home with electricity.
So Base board heaters or Light bulbs the cost is the same .
In the other 5 months of the year we do not use very many lights so the saving is very minimal.
The huge cost for these Flourescents and the PI$$ poor light they give is a waist of money ( Not counting the fires they cause and the Mercury they have in them ).
Then there was the city of Toronto plan to reduce electricty consumption in the summer. Two years ago they asked all to reduce consumption by turning up the thermostats to conserve in the summer. The populace did so well that Toronto Hydro raised rates the next year saying that the reducton in usage was so effective that they lost money.
And so it goes.
The policies of the last 100 years have been to supply all the power we need- burn coal, dam/change direction of rivers, etc- just give us more power!!! This is comparable to a fully loaded mining ore train going downhill …you’re not going to stop it in 100 feet (it actually takes miles in some cases).
To change policies, the public’s expectations (what!! I can’t have all I want?) and come up with a new paradigm that works with reasonable rates and makes $$$ within a year or two is a dream!!! Just 7 years ago, oil was US $10/barrel…How can you make longterm plans with this volatility? We all will have to **really participate and not simply pay lip service to conservation and efficiency. **
I see people who do recycle here (it’s the law) but everyone in the family (including the high school students) have their own cars (know at least 2 families in this situation)!!! THE KIDS DON’T TAKE THE BUS TO SCHOOL (HEY! MASS TRANSPORTATION) BUT CAN LEISURELY DRIVE THEIR OWN CAR 15-25 MINUTES LATER (EXTRA SLEEP TIME)!!! THIS IS SICK, SICK, SICK!!!