Is Energy a Political Card That Should be Played?

In Ontario, energy policy is at or near the top of the political conversations.  The challenge is, energy policy is a complicated “beast” that far exceeds the length of a political career.  Just ask everyone who is paying their debt retirement charge from nuclear plants built 20 years ago.

My hope is that the politicians stop using electricity/energy as a political pawn, and talk about serious energy policy for the long-term.  Premiere McGuinty did it with taxes by choosing to implement the HST in Ontario.  This was potentially damaging politically, but was smart tax policy and has successfully implemented it across the province.  What I hope is that the same effort it took to develop a good tax policy can be put into a good energy policy.

To our politicians campaigning for our provincial votes, please talk about the real challenges and opportunities in creating great energy policy, not about how you will change the way my electricity bill will look.

Thanks for reading.


ISO 50001 Energy Management

During the summer, Canada, along with 42 other countries, participated in developing the first global standard for Energy Management Systems: ISO 50001.  ISO 50001 is a voluntary, internationally accepted framework for the management of energy for businesses of all sizes and in all industries.  It has laid out a clear path to the efficient management of energy by requiring organizations to:

  • Conduct an energy review
  • Establish an energy baseline
  • Develop energy objectives and targets that are measurable and set timelines for achievement
  • Implement the action plan
  • Check performance
  • Monitor, document and report

ISO 50001 is based on the “Plan-Do-Check-Act” framework for continual improvement:

PLAN – Establish the objectives and processes necessary to deliver results in accordance with opportunities to improve energy performance and policies

DO – Implement the process

CHECK – Monitor and measure processes and product against policies, objectives and key operations characteristics, then report on the results

ACT –  Take actions to continually improve energy performance

Leger Marketing conducted a survey on behalf of CSA to better understand what Canadian Executives thought about energy management.  The survey found that “79 per cent of Canadian executives believe that energy efficiency is a
key component to business success,” said Bonnie Rose, President, CSA
Standards. “And although the bottom line is not the only measure of
success, the implementation of ISO 50001 will help businesses move
forward in achieving their environmental goals by reducing their energy
consumption and carbon footprint, while also recognizing the cost
savings associated with reduced energy consumption.”

In that same survey, it found that 20% of executes believed that they would gain a competitive advantage by declaring their commitment to reducing energy consumption or improving environmental performance.

ISO 50001 is designed to help guide businesses to properly implement and monitor a successful energy management strategy.  How important is Energy in your business?  Do you budget energy as a manageable expense?

I would love to hear your comments.