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The Role of Energy Efficiency in Ontario's Electricity System

March 24, 2023  |  Article

Energy efficiency is always a good idea. By using energy wisely, individuals and businesses can realize significant cost savings. It also helps reduce the amount of energy the provincial electricity system needs to supply and deliver, which can limit (or avoid) the need for investments in new electricity supply or transmission line infrastructure.

Energy efficiency delivered through conservation and demand management programs is an increasingly important resource to maintain a reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity system. At just 3¢/kWh, energy efficiency is one of Ontario’s most cost-effective resources to help meet the province’s growing energy needs.

The 2021-2024 Conservation and Demand Management Framework (CDM Framework) outlines the energy efficiency measures that the Independent Electricity System Operator is undertaking to make electricity more reliable and affordable for ratepayers.

Father holding child near a thermostat in a house

Now at its mid-way point, the CDM Framework continues to concentrate on achieving provincial peak demand reductions, as well as tailored measures to address regional and local electrical system demands.

To address near-term system needs, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) will introduce a number of new and enhanced energy-efficiency programs.

  • Strategic Energy Management Program, which places participants in learning cohorts and provides financial incentives for implementing energy efficiency measures.
  • Existing Building Commissioning Program, which helps companies find opportunities to optimize operations and improve energy efficiency based on their current facility requirements.
  • Commercial Midstream Lighting (scheduled to launch in fall 2023), which will provide lighting incentives for distributors to increase sales of energy-efficient lighting through point-of-sale discounts.
  • Additional local initiatives in targeted areas of the provide where electricity constraints exist

It is expected that these offerings will deliver energy savings of an additional 285 megawatts (MW) and annual energy savings of 1.1 terawatt hours (TWh) by 2025.

Discover your energy saving potential.

Visit for a full list of energy efficiency programs and incentives