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Reforming the Long-Term Energy Planning Framework in Ontario

Published on
January 28, 2021

Earlier today the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines formally launched a public consultation on the Environmental Registry to refocus Ontario’s Long-term energy planning framework. The intent of this consultation is to inform the Ministry’s deliberations in considering ways “to increase the effectiveness, transparency and accountability of energy decision-making in Ontario.”

The posting can be found here.

This consultation follows the January 1st repeal of O.Reg 355/17, the regulation compelling the release of a new Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP) every three years. It also reinforces the government’s desire to base energy planning squarely on the principals of affordability, certainty and cost-effectiveness in the best interests of customers.

Whereas the former LTEP process would have engaged stakeholders in the development of government plans and policies, informed by outlooks produced by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), and subsequently involving directives to the IESO and the Ontario Energy Board, the current consultation considers the potential to empower the IESO and OEB, rather than the government, to lead energy policy and planning in the province. To consider this transition, the Ministry is “also considering whether the IESO and the OEB have the appropriate mandates and authorities to undertake an expanded planning and resource acquisition role. This could include the development of a new approval or review process for certain types of government policy-decisions.”

While not exhaustive, the posting contains a number of guiding questions for stakeholders to consider:

  • How can we promote transparency, accountability and effectiveness of energy planning and decision-making under a new planning framework?
  • What overarching goals and objectives should be recognized in a renewed planning framework?
  • What respective roles should each of the Government, IESO, and the OEB hold in energy decision-making and long-term planning?
  • What kinds of decisions should be made by technical planners at the IESO and the OEB as regulators?
  • What types of decisions should require government direction or approval?
  • Are there gaps in the IESO and the OEB’s mandates and objectives that limit their ability to effectively lead long-term planning?
  • Should certain planning processes or decisions by the IESO, the OEB, or the government receive additional scrutiny, for example through legislative oversight or review by an expert committee?
  • How often and in what form should government provide policy guidance and direction to facilitate effective long-term energy planning?
  • How do we ensure effective and meaningful Indigenous participation in energy sector decision-making?

Comments will be accepted to the Ministry until April 27, 2021.

We look forward to assisting clients in participating in this process. Please contact your Sussex associate should you have any questions.

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