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.”