Canada: New scorecard urges federal action on provinces’ stalled energy efficiency programs

(The Energy Mix, 18 Nov 2021) The Trudeau government can reactivate stalled energy efficiency efforts at the provincial level by taking leadership on tougher building codes, transforming building retrofits, making low-income households a priority, and promoting energy management in industry, Efficiency Canada says, in an addendum to its annual Canadian Energy Efficiency Policy Scorecard released Wednesday.

The scorecard, accompanied by a detailed database and separate assessments for every province and territory except Nunavut, shows scant progress in 2020 by the level of government that has the most control over the country’s energy efficiency policies. “Canada-wide net annual incremental program energy savings are on a downward trend, having fallen roughly 38% from their peak in 2017,” the report says, “and only British Columbia is committed to a net-zero energy building code.”

For the third year in a row, the country’s leading energy efficiency jurisdictions showed decidedly average performance, placing around the middle of Efficiency Canada’s rating scale. British Columbia led the pack with a score of just 52 out of 100 possible points, followed by Quebec at 48 and Nova Scotia at 41. B.C. excelled on enabling strategies, with 14 out of a possible 17 points, and on buildings, with a score of 11.5 out of 17.5. Quebec led in energy-efficient transport, with a score of 18 out of 20.5. On overall programming, Prince Edward Island needed only 19 points out of 38 to take top honours.

Only B.C. and Alberta met or exceeded the electricity savings they recorded in 2019, natural gas use became slightly less efficient, and “all provinces except Manitoba, New Brunswick, and Ontario spent less on low-income programs relative to 2019 levels”.

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The Energy Mix, 18 Nov 2021: Canada: New scorecard urges federal action on provinces’ stalled energy efficiency programs