Last week, the Ontario Electricity Stakeholders Alliance, a diverse group of 19 energy consumers, businesses, producers and distributors from across Ontario, took the unprecedented step of joining together to announce its Power Framework to ensure smart electricity decisions.
With eight recommendations, the Power Framework provides the roadmap Ontario needs for smart electricity decisions that achieve the best outcomes for Ontario's electricity consumers through the principles of transparency, competition, objectivity and independence.
All three main political parties have at one point in Ontario's history struggled tremendously with energy planning. With new technologies, electricity planning is going to become even more complex and difficult. Therefore, the Ontario Electricity Stakeholders Alliance is asking each party to commit to its Power Framework, which focuses on:
- Transparency: A plan to build confidence in an open, accountable system with an engaged Legislature and rules that respect the public's right to be informed;
- Competition: A commitment to competitive processes, wherever feasible, that help support lower costs for both government and electricity consumers;
- Objectivity: A commitment to smart electricity decisions informed by rigorous cost-benefit analysis and objective procurement criteria that ensure Ontario ratepayers are getting the best value; and
- Independence: A process where independent agencies like the IESO, OEB and Ontario Electricity Safety Authority are appropriately resourced to make independent decisions and be held accountable by the provincial Legislature.
Ontario's electricity sector governance and planning framework should be revised to reflect these fundamental principles. This will help ensure the sector's cost effectiveness, reliability and ability to adapt. Decisions about Ontario's electricity system have far-reaching implications, impacting the province's economic strength and prosperity for years to come, and are fundamental to the realization of the province's ambitions.
All Ontarians have a shared stake in this framework and its objectives. The Ontario Electricity Stakeholders Alliance is fully committed to working with all private and public stakeholders to advance this framework.