Energy efficiency measures in the pan-Canadian climate framework will create 118,000 jobs, boost GDP by C$356 billion between 2017 and 2030, and generate average annual savings of $114 per household and $3.2 billion for businesses, according to a modelling study commissioned by Efficiency Canada and Clean Energy Canada, and conducted by Montreal-based Dunsky Energy Consulting.
The study found that every $1 invested in efficiency produces $7 in GDP.
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The scenario based shows 52,900 additional jobs in Ontario, 25,200 in Quebec, 18,300 in British Columbia, 5,900 in Alberta, and 4,200 in Nova Scotia.
“As for the climate, the current measures will help Canada cut one-quarter of the carbon pollution required to meet our international commitments,” the report states. “That’s big. Though as a recent report from provincial and federal auditors general report revealed, more will need to be done than is currently planned if Canada is to hit its 2030 climate target. One solution? Even stronger energy efficiency measures.”
In a “plus scenario” that extends energy efficiency efforts beyond the pan-Canadian plan, GDP increases by $595 billion, households save an average of $151 per year, and the commercial and industrial sector saves $4.9 billion.
“We talk about energy a lot in this country. Seldom do we talk about using it more productively. And yet the economic and climate impacts of energy efficiency are enormous—and enormously beneficial for Canadians,” said Clean Energy Canada Executive Director Merran Smith.
“Viewed through an economic lens, energy efficiency is a key contributor to growth in both GDP and jobs in every province across Canada,” added Efficiency Canada Executive Director Corey Diamond. “Put simply, energy efficiency works.”
The report singles out Nova Scotia as a province that has cut its energy consumption by 10% over the last decade, saving $166 million and 840,000 tonnes of carbon pollution per year.
“As Canada works to cut carbon pollution out to 2030 and beyond, it’s clear that energy efficiency can help keep us on track, while enhancing our economy, creating jobs, and leaving money in consumers’ wallets,” the report states.
“While more will need to be done to hit our targets and minimize the costs of climate change, energy efficiency is an optimal solution. So optimal, in fact, that we should consider expanding our efforts—while reaping the rewards that come with them.”
Clean Energy Canada routinely publishes unreliable, misleading, cherry-picked “good news” stories about climate and energy issues, which rarely offer robust critical analyses. Frankly, I’m surprised to see this whitewash article on The Energy Mix.
For alternative evidence-based viewpoints, check out —
1/ ‘It’s Very Misleading’: Energy Experts Critique Canada’s Rosy Carbon Pricing Report by James Wilt , DeSmog Canada Shortlink https://wp.me/pO0No-4iv
2/ Canada’s Energy Outlook, researched and written by earth scientist David Hughes, one of the nation’s foremost energy experts, takes a hard look at Canada’s energy production, emissions, low carbon alternatives and resource-based revenue over time. Shortlink https://wp.me/pO0No-4ig
3/ Where are we going by Professor Nate Hagens, published by Resilience.org. The most comprehensive explanation of the complexity of our bleak future I have ever seen. Not to be missed. at http://www.resilience.org/stories/2018-05-08/where-are-we-going/
We curate the excellent material we receive from DeSmog Canada on a regular basis, look forward to Wilt’s work whenever it shows up on our desktops, and we’re actually covering the Hughes report twice — we carried his conclusion that Canada can’t meet its 2030 climate targets if oil and gas production continues to grow, and our Monday edition includes a separate story capturing his segment on plummeting government royalties from fossil production.
But I have to take issue with your criticism of Clean Energy Canada (though they can certainly speak for themselves!), and with your implication that good news is necessarily a “whitewash”. An assumption we brought to our work with The Mix, and has been powerfully reinforced by four years of regular production, is that we only win (and people will only be able to stay engaged over the long haul) if we can legitimately tell three sides of the story — that the climate crisis is real and dire, that most governments including Canada’s are falling far short of what they need to do about it, *and* that there’s enough good news out there to give us a pathway we can keep fighting and advocating for. Partly by temperament, but mainly because there are only 28 hours in every day/eight days in every week, I don’t think you’ll ever find one group that can go deep on all of those dimensions.
I wouldn’t expect CEC to fight pipelines, any more than I would look to any of the main anti-pipeline groups to devote in-depth time to energy transition issues. In either case, if splitting their attention took resources and focus away from their main superpower, that would be a loss to the community as a whole.
Mitchell, thanks for your thoughtful response. In a short comment, one has no control over how one’s words – in this case ‘whitewash’ — are going to be interpreted. Sorry it upset you. As some wit once said, “The meaning of my message is the response that it gets.” Let’s see if more words can clarify my message.
Re, CEC “can certainly speak for themselves.” If only. I was a regular reader of CEC posts for a couple of years. My emails to them pointing out passages from alternative, reliable, evidence-based sources that challenged their “good news” assertions – in this case about the pan Canadian framework, but also about renewable energy gains – went unanswered. So I stopped following CEC.
Re “there’s enough good news out there”, I have nothing against “good news”, provided it is evidence-based, from a trusted, reliable, credible source, holds up under critical scrutiny, and, if possible, meets the acid test – it contributes to advancing a relevant, macro-framework understanding of the human predicament.
Re “I don’t think you’ll ever find one group that can go deep on all of those  dimensions”, I have recently found one person who goes deeply not only on your three dimensions, but several more. Dr. Nathan ‘Nate’ Hagens is a professor at the University of Minnesota where he teaches a systems synthesis Honors seminar called “Reality 101, A Survey of Human Predicament.” (http://www.honors.umn.edu/experiences/courses-and-tutoring/honors-seminars.php#2624h) The readings and lectures cover literature in systems ecology, energy and natural resources, thermodynamics, history, anthropology, human behavior, neuroscience, environmental science, sociology, economics, globalization/trade, and finance/debt with an overarching goal to give students a general understanding of how our human ecosystem functions as a whole. Such a systems overview is necessary to view the opportunities and constraints relevant to our future from a realistic starting point.
The problem with almost all mainstream, and even progressive online news reports and articles, is that they reflect a micro, “silo thinking mentality”, which can be overly simplistic and misleading, leaving us without a relevant, macro framework understanding of our societal situation. Consequently, as Dr. Hagens astutely observes, “… we live in a time of paradox and myth,” with little understanding of the complexity of the real world. Alternatively, an integrative systems synthesis is a prerequisite to understanding what is unlikely, what is possible, what’s at stake, and ultimately what to strive for and work towards.
For a sample of Hagens’ thinking, watch this 120-minute video: “WEP2018 TV: Energy, Money and Technology and the Human Superorganism” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DpfsqjQbP0 )
Hope this long comment helps clarify my meaning.
Thanks for the detailed and thoughtful follow-up, Frank! I hope I didn’t convey that I was upset…and I’m glad my reply was the catalyst for yours.
Mitchell, you might be interest in Prof. Hagens’ closing thoughts from his keynote address in Saudi Arabia, cited above.
Summary of main points —
1/ Energy is what we have to budget and to spend.
2/ Money is just a marker for real capital/wealth
3/ The primary drivers of growth – cheap energy and available credit – are waning. For most people, growth is already over.
4/ We don’t face a resource scarcity situation but one of declining ‘resource contribution’. In other words, there isn’t a real energy shortage but rather a ‘longage’ of expectations. [‘longage’, a new version on ‘long’, meaning something that is time-consuming, or annoying]
5/ Our evolved behavioural drivers make it difficult to act/plan ahead other than in a crisis. Biology determines what we need, culture determines how we get it.
6/ Global market-based human society is functioning like a dissipative structure – and will continue to until it cannot.
7/ We need to – as best we can – use intelligent foresight and integrate/plan for a lower consumption, more local and regional future.
8/ The good news is we only need a fraction of all this material stuff to be happy and healthy.
What do we do?
“I don’t know,” says Prof. Hagens. “And I don’t know what the future will be.” He sees the future as the unfolding of a continuing series of bell-shaped probability distributions along a continuum axis from “life diminishing” to “life enhancing” outcomes.
Based on his informed judgment, Hagens foresees what the future will NOT be.
1/ Growing the economy AND mitigating climate change. (Trudeau doesn’t get it.)
2/ Growing the economy by REPLACING fossil fuels with renewables.
3/ Humans en masse choosing to leave fossil sunlight in the ground.
4/ Governments explaining limits to growth BEFORE limits to growth are well past.
I’ll track that down. (Unless you have a copy *easily* at hand, in which case: firstname.lastname@example.org, with thanks.) It’s useful to know what futures he does NOT foresee. I’ll be curious to see what solutions he DOES consider plausible and worth working toward, even if they aren’t certainties. Because I don’t think the analysis is ever done, for any of us, until we’ve distilled the necessary ‘awfulizing’ into a pathway that points toward a set of solutions.