Aboriginal Rights
Rights held by some Indigenous peoples of Canada that are acquired though long-standing use and occupancy of the land, and are protected under Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.
Baseload Generation
Generation sources designed to operate more or less continuously through the day and night and across the seasons of the year. Nuclear and many hydro generating stations are examples of baseload generation.
Bioenergy and Bio-diesel
Energy produced from living or recently living plants or animal sources. Sources for bioenergy generation can include agricultural residues, food process by-products, animal manure, waste wood and kitchen waste.
Cap and Trade
A program to reduce GHG emissions. The "cap" puts a limit on the amount of greenhouse gases that can be discharged. If a company releases more than that amount, it can purchase credits from a company that reduced its GHG emissions levels to below the cap.
Capacity Auction
A competitive market that commits a supplier to provide capacity.
Clean Energy
Energy that is produced without the emission of greenhouse gases.
Clean Imports
Imports of electricity from non-emitting sources through contractual agreement.
Climate Change Action Plan
A five-year Ontario plan aimed at fighting climate change over the long-term. The current Climate Change Action Plan will be replaced by a revised plan, when it expires in 2020.
Climate Change Mitigation and Low Carbon Economy Act, 2016
Ontario legislation, that among other things, established legal framework for Ontario’s cap and trade program.
Conservation First
Conservation First is Ontario’s policy making conservation the first resource considered, wherever cost-effective, in planning to meet the province’s energy needs.
Conservation First Framework
Launched January 1, 2015, the six-year Conservation First Framework (2015-2020), overseen by the IESO, governs the delivery of electricity conservation and energy efficiency programs in Ontario and provides the funding, guidelines and certainty needed for electricity distributors to deliver conservation and energy efficiency programs to their customers.
The removal of carbon from sources of energy, done to reduce the discharge of greenhouse gases.
Demand Side Management (DSM) Framework
Launched December 22, 2014, the six-year DSM Framework (2015-2020), overseen by the OEB, governs the delivery of natural gas conservation and energy efficiency programs in Ontario and provides the funding, guidelines and certainty needed for natural gas distributors to deliver energy efficiency programs to their customers.
Demand Response
Provides price or financial incentives to residential and business users to shift or reduce their electricity usage away from peak periods of consumption.
Distributed Generation
Energy produced by small, decentralized generators, such as wind turbines and solar panels.
Distribution System
A system that takes electricity from a high-voltage transmission system, reduces the voltage and delivers it to residents.
Electricity Act 1998
Ontario legislation to ensure the adequacy, safety, sustainability and reliability of electricity supply in the province.
Energy East
A proposal from TransCanada Pipelines Limited to convert a natural gas pipeline to carry crude oil from western Canada for export and use by eastern Canadian refineries.
Energy Audit
A process to determine where, when, why and how energy is being used by energy-consuming systems, such as buildings. The information can then be used to identify opportunities to improve efficiency, decrease energy costs and reduce GHGs.
Energy Retrofit
The process of upgrading a building’s energy consuming systems. Retrofitting may involve improving or replacing lighting fixtures, ventilation systems, or windows and doors, or adding insulation where it makes economic sense. Retrofitting also means including energy efficiency measures in all renovation and repair activities.
Energy Storage
Equipment or technology that collects energy so it can be used at a later date. Examples include batteries and hydro-electric dams.
Environmental Registry
An online database where Ontario ministries post environmentally significant proposals or decisions, and invite comments from the public.
A renewable fuel made from plants such as corn, sugar cane and grasses. Its use can reduce greenhouse gases.
Fossil Fuels
Fuels that contain high percentages of carbon and emit greenhouses gases. Fossil fuels include coal, oil and natural gas, and derivatives such as gasoline, kerosene and propane.
Fuels Technical Report (FTR)
A report prepared for the Ontario Ministry of Energy that reviews the current supply and demand for fuels in Ontario, and the possible changes that could occur through to 2036.
Green Button
A data standard that gives customers the ability to access and share their utility data in an electronic, standardized and secure way. Customers can share their data with innovative software applications that allow them to view and manage their energy and water use.
Greenhouse Gases (GHG)
Gas that contributes to the capture of heat in the Earth’s atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is the most prominent GHG. It is released into the Earth’s atmosphere as a result of the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil or natural gas. GHGs are widely acknowledged as contributing to climate change.
Heat Pumps
A device that heats or cools buildings by absorbing heat from one area and transferring it to another. Heat pumps can replace the need for furnaces and air conditioners.
Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO)
The provincial agency that ensures there is always enough electricity to meet the province’s energy needs. It is also responsible for planning and securing electricity to meet future needs, and overseeing delivery of programs under the Conservation First framework.
Another term for Canada’s First Nation, Métis and Inuit peoples.
Equipment that generates the energy used by consumers, including nuclear power plants, hydroelectric dams and solar panels and delivers it through wires, pipelines.
Integrated Regional Resource Plan
A plan that identifies the appropriate mix of investments in conservation and demand management, generation, transmission facilities or distribution facilities, needed to address the electricity needs of a region in the near- (up to 5 years), mid- (5 to 10 years), and long-term (more than 10 and up to 20 years).
Kilowatt (kW)
A standard unit of power that is equal to 1,000 Watts (W). Ten 100-watt light bulbs operated together require one kW of power.
Local Advisory Committee
A committee of local community representatives that provides advice on local priorities and makes recommendations on the development of regional electricity plans. It is comprised of up to 18 members, representing municipalities, First Nation and Métis communities, consumers and citizens, the business community, and environmental and conservation groups.
Local Distribution Company (LDC)
A public or private corporation that owns the wires, poles transformers and pipelines that deliver electricity or natural gas to local consumers.
Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP)
A blueprint setting out the projected supply and demand for energy for the next 20 years in Ontario. It is updated every few years.
Megatonnes (Mt)
One million metric tons.
A unit of power equal to 1,000 kilowatts (kW) or one million watts (W).
Megawatt Hour (MWh)
A measure of the energy produced by a generating station over time: a one MW generator, operating for 24 hours, generates 24 MWh of energy.
A greenhouse gas that is the primary component of natural gas.
A local electricity network linking smaller sources of electricity with nearby users such as homes, business and institutions. In the event of a failure of the larger network, a microgrid can seal itself off and continue to provide power locally.
National Energy Board
The federal agency that regulates the international and inter-provincial operations of oil and gas pipelines and electricity transmitters.
Net Metering
A billing arrangement allowing customers to generate their own electricity on site for their personal use, and receive bill credits for any surplus electricity sent to the local distribution system.
Net-zero Energy Buildings
A building that annually produces at least as much energy as it consumes.
Specific decision points that give the government the ability to stop the refurbishment of the Bruce or Darlington nuclear reactors.
Ontario Energy Board (OEB)
A provincial agency that sets the prices for natural gas and electricity in Ontario. It also regulates the activities of generators, transmitters, distributors, and the wholesalers and retailers of electricity and natural gas.
Ontario Planning Outlook (OPO)
A report that reviews the past ten years of activity in the electricity system, and provides a series of future scenarios for the next 20 years.
Peak Demand
Peak demand, peak load or on peak are terms describing a period in which demand for electricity is highest.
One petajoule is roughly equivalent to the energy produced by one billion cubic feet of natural gas.
Political Accord
An agreement between the Government of Ontario and the Chiefs of Ontario that will guide the relationship between First Nations and the province.
Regional Infrastructure Plan
A plan developed by the local transmitter as part of the regional infrastructure planning process. It identifies investments in transmission and distribution facilities that should be developed and implemented on a coordinated basis to meet the electricity infrastructure needs within a region.
Regulated Price Plan
A time-of-use pricing plan, revised every six months by the OEB, that sets the prices for electricity during peak, off-peak, and mid-peak periods of the day.
Regulatory Registry
An online database where Ontario ministries post proposed regulations, and invite comments from the public.
The ability to deliver electricity to consumers on demand, in accordance with industry standards. For example, standards that set parameters for power quality, availability, or restoration times in case of an outage.
The ability to withstand impacts from climate change, including changes in demand, disruption in supply, and damage to infrastructure.
Renewable Natural Gas (RNG)
A form of methane that comes from organic sources, such as landfill gas, agricultural residues and wastes from food and beverage manufacturing. RNG is a "carbon-neutral" fuel as it is produced from renewable resources.
Rural and Remote Rate Protection Program
Provides financial assistance to eligible customers of certain local distribution companies located in rural or remote areas. This program helps offset the higher cost of providing service to consumers in these areas.
Smart Grid
A Smart Grid uses digital computerized equipment with two-way communications to deliver electricity and control applications in consumers' homes and business. Equipment using the Smart Grid can save energy, reduce costs and increase reliability and transparency.
Smart, or Programmable Thermostat
A smart thermostat learns the temperature preferences of a building’s occupants and automatically turns itself down when the building occupants are away. It can typically be controlled remotely from a phone, tablet or laptop.
Social Benchmarking
A program that provides customers with information about their energy usage, and compares it to the usage of their neighbours or peers.
Terawatt Hours (TWh)
One billion kilowatt hours (kWh). A kWh is the same as one kilowatt (1 kW) of power being used for one hour.
Prices for electricity that vary according to the demands put on the system. Under a time-of-use plan, prices are higher during periods of peak consumption when it costs more to generate electricity. Conversely, prices are lower during off-peak periods, when the cost of electricity is less.
The movement of electricity or natural gas, usually over long distance, from generation sites to consumers and local distributions systems. Transmission of electricity is done at high voltages.
Vancouver Declaration
An agreement-in-principle by Canada’s First Ministers to work toward a national climate change plan and develop of a price on carbon.
Watt (W)
A unit of electricity that measures how much electrical power is being generated or used at any one time.
Whole Home
An holistic approach to conservation and energy efficiency that looks at improvements in the use of electricity, natural gas and water throughout a home to achieve the most efficient results.