The IESO website has changed since the recent merger with the Ontario Power Authority (OPA). The page outlining details of the “Conservation Fund” (paid for via the Global Adjustment or GA) says this about its purpose: “If you have a bright idea to help Ontarians conserve energy, we’ll help you turn it into reality.”
For 2013 the grants handed out by the Conservation Fund for “bright ideas” amounted to $8.5 million, which is only about 2% of the annual OPA conservation budget (consistently in excess of $300 million annually) and jumped to $483 million in 2014. That amounts to about $100 per year on your electricity bill.
What we should know about the OPA’s “Conservation Fund” hand outs:
Did you know that that since the Conservation Fund began, the OPA dispersed well over $2 million to just Toronto Hydro and the City of Toronto for “bright ideas”?
Did you know the OPA also disbursed funds to the Toronto & Region Conservation Authority ($235K for school education programs, sustainable schools, even condominium combined heat and power evaluation), and they disbursed funds to University of Toronto ($354K)?
Did you know MaRS (MaRS again!) got $149K for demonstration of new green technologies?
Did you know the OPA even provided funds to a Toronto-owned funding organization? The Toronto Atmospheric Fund ($150K), gave Loblaw $1 million “ to validate the potential of pay for performance models as a next generation approach to conservation programming,” and handed out $160K to the Toronto Renewable Energy Co-op (Exhibition Place wind turbine) “With the ultimate goal of providing students and at-risk youth with pathways to the green energy industry.”
Did you know that in the same period they disbursed $720K to Enerquality, Clean Air Foundation ($125K) and $25K to Summerhill, all of whom Bruce Lourie, (a former Board member of the OPA and a recently appointed Board member of IESO) claims he created?
Did you know you can find names like these otherwise well-funded organizations? WWF ($400K for: “The “Living Planet @ Work” initiative [to support] employee networks and executive leaders in reducing tenant electricity use in office workplaces”); Pembina ($75K to: provides teachers and students with web-based, curriculum-linked materials on energy and the environment.); Ryerson University 1, ($1.9 million for: “ …a founding sponsor of the Centre for Urban Energy/CUE at Ryerson, the OPA will support the three fellowship positions and student awards”.)
Did you know the OPA also handed out $2.9 million to the Ontario Centres of Excellence, Windfall where Brent Kopperson 2. (one of the authors of the GEA) got $55K; $300K went to Temporal Power who also received $20 million in grants from the Province and a contract for energy storage from the OPA; and, $450K was given to Electrovaya who announced a couple of years ago it has received approval for a C$16.7 million grant from the government of Ontario to develop its Lithium Ion SuperPolymer® battery technology.
Did you know this Portfolio list numbers over 160 grants, not including any from 2014?
It is worth noting that the OPA even handed our grants for concepts/projects located in other provinces and grants to foreign companies trying to establish “green” initiatives, etc.
The OPA handed out $284K for the Now House Project in Windsor and the riding held by a former Liberal Energy and Finance Minister, Dwight Duncan, to retrofit five small homes built for returning veterans from WW II, at a total cost of over $1 million (over $200K per home). That money might better support some of Canada’s veterans but the optics for the Liberal government in Ontario mean support must go to their objective to get us all to conserve electricity, no matter the cost.
February 15, 2015
The views expressed are those of the author and do not represent Wind Concerns Ontario policy.
- Ryerson University also received another $5 million from Hydro One and Toronto Hydro.
- Windfall also obtained approval for a 20-MW wind turbine development on Georgina Island and negotiated a loan with Toronto Atmospheric Fund to help finance it; the loan was cancelled by the previous Toronto Mayor and council.