Efficiency Recognized as Priority Energy Resource in Energy Transition Québec’s First Master Plan
June 12, 2018 Brendan Haley Efficiency Canada Policy Director Yesterday, Transitions énergétique Québec (TEQ) released its first “Master Plan” on “energy transition, innovation, and efficiency”. TEQ is a Québec state corporation created in early 2017. It is funded by cap and trade revenues, a charge on energy distributors, and another “energy transition” fund. The full 229 page document is a full-spectrum “energy transition” plan. It includes more than $6 billion in investments and 225 measures over five years, with 15 roadmaps to meet objectives in areas such as land-use planning, personal and freight transportation, off-grid power systems, financing, education, and research and development. The plan involves TEQ’s own programs, as well as those coordinated with government ministries, and the province’s electricity and natural gas distributors (Hydro-Québec, Énergir and Gazifère). The plan demonstrates that a high level of integration is needed to achieve energy transition. For instance, the document notes how incentive programs smooth the way for stronger regulations. TEQ innovation priorities include learning about new technologies and practices that shape energy demand, such as autonomous vehicles and new building designs. There is also a financing section, with plans to work with financial institutions and labour-sponsored funds to increase sustainable energy investments. This plan was developed after an extensive public consultation, followed by government review. There is also a stakeholder panel created by legislation that produced its own independent report. TEQ states that all programs will be independently evaluated, yet it is not yet clear how. Also, the review process is not over, because the energy regulator will now take a look (see below).
Energy Efficiency Recognized As Priority Energy ResourceThe top guideline in the plan recognizes “energy efficiency as a priority energy source”. This is an important acknowledgment of energy efficiency’s role that could create important changes to energy system planning and operation. The plan also aims to significantly reduce the province’s dependence on petroleum products. Some energy efficiency related highlights include:
- Adopt the 2015 National Energy Code for Buildings (with modifications), and publish a voluntary building code beyond minimum regulations for new buildings and renovations.
- Expand efficiency regulations for appliances to include new components such as doors and windows, and update regulations frequently.
- Introduce a building labeling system through a working group and pilot project, moving towards a mandatory system by 2023-28.
- Prohibit the installation of heating oil systems in grid-connected houses. Legislation introduced in 2021-22 with the ban in force by 2023-28.
- Offer voluntary certification for building entrepreneurs (rénovation écoénergétique).
Buildings (Commercial and Institutional)
- Introduce a voluntary program to publish building energy data, made mandatory by the 2023-28 timeframe.
- Publish a voluntary building code beyond minimum regulations for new buildings and renovations, with a vision towards new buildings being net zero energy by the 2028-2033 time frame.
- Create a waste heat recovery registry, with declaration of waste heat becoming mandatory by 2023-28.
- Promote green leases.
- Promote ISO 50001 Energy Management System with a goal towards making it mandatory for large energy consumers that receive financial aid by 2023-2028.
- Consider integrating an energy efficiency clause within large industry environmental regulations in 2019-2020.
- Promote programs for businesses and institutions to offer sustainable mobility solutions.
- Create a feebate program to encourage the purchase of energy efficient vehicles.
- Support efforts to optimize commercial transport supply chain logistics.
- Create a new “transportez vert” program for companies.