Transformers and power linesThe Ministry of Energy (ENG) is one of 15 Ontario ministries that is required under the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993 (EBR) to include the public in its environmentally significant decision making. Click on a heading below to learn about the Ministry of Energy and its EBR requirements and performance.

 

 

Key Environmental Aspects of the Ministry's Mandate

The Ministry of Energy (ENG) has a mandate to plan and manage a clean energy economy that provides for sustainable communities across the province. The ministry oversees the development of a diverse supply mix, including the promotion of renewable energy sources and making conservation measures a top priority. The ministry oversees the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) and the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO); it also represents the provincial government in dealings with Hydro One and Ontario Power Generation (OPG). From air quality impacts to climate change mitigation, the ministry has a significant responsibility to ensure that the environment is safeguarded.

Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) Requirements

Statement of Environmental Values

Each ministry that is prescribed under the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) is required to develop a Statement of Environmental Values to guide ministry staff when making decisions that might significantly affect the environment. Read the Ministry of Energy's Statement of Environmental Values.

Public Notice and Consultation

Each ministry that is prescribed under the EBR is required to consult the public on certain environmentally significant proposals via the Environmental Registry. Specifically, the Ministry of Energy (ENG) must give notice of, and consult on, any proposal to make or amend a policy or act that could have a significant effect on the environment.

In addition, the ENG is also required to provide notice and consult the public on any proposed regulation, or amendment to a regulation, that could have a significant effect on the environment, made under the Green Energy Act, 2009, or certain regulations made under the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998 (i.e., those that deal with a tracking and reporting system for contaminant emissions from energy generators and/or retailers).

Applications for Review

Under the EBR, members of the public can ask the ENG to review the need for a new environmental policy, act or regulation. In addition, the public may ask the ministry to review: any of ministry’s existing policies; the Green Energy Act, 2009 or its regulations; or those portions of the Ontario Energy Board Act (or its regulations) that deal with a tracking and reporting system for contaminant emissions from energy generators and/or retailers.

The ENG is required to consider all such requests, and to respond within 60 days of receiving the application to let both the applicants and the Environmental Commissioner know whether or not it will undertake the requested review.

Pending Requests for Review

The Ministry of Energy does not have any outstanding Applications for Review.

Applications for Investigation

The Green Energy Act, 2009 is prescribed under the Environmental Bill of Rights for Applications for Investigation. This means that members of the public can request that the ENG conduct an investigation of an alleged offence under the Green Energy Act, 2009, or its regulations.

Pending Requests for Investigation

The Ministry of Energy does not have any outstanding Applications for Investigation

EBR Commitment Letter

In December 2015, the ECO invited prescribed ministries to renew their commitment to the EBR in writing. Read the Ministry of Energy's recommitment to the Environmental Bill of Rights.

EBR Report Card

The ECO evaluates prescribed ministries’ performance under the EBR. Here is the Ministry of  Energy's EBR report card for the 2015/2016 reporting year.

ECO Comment: The ENG posted excellent notices to the Registry this year, and made an effort to remedy its seven outdated proposals (two remain). However the ENG needs to post decision notices more promptly. The ministry should also ensure that it responds to any applications for review or investigation it may receive in the future in detail, addressing all of the applicants’ main concerns. The ENG was very co-operative and helpful in responding to the ECO’s requests for information and assistance, and is commended for its efforts.

Category
Result
Comments
Quality of Notices Posted on the Environmental Registry
The ENG posted consistently high quality notices.
Timeliness of Decision Notices and Avoiding Outdated Proposals
Of the six decision notices that the ENG posted in 2015/2016, only one was posted within two weeks of the decision being made. Encouragingly, the ENG remedied five of its seven outdated proposals, and had just two outdated notices as of April 1, 2016.
Handling of Applications for Review and Investigation
The ENG concluded one application for review in 2015/2016, denying the application. While the ministry met its statutory timelines and its decision to deny the application was valid, the ENG did not sufficiently respond to all of the applicants’ key concerns and did not explain its decision in enough detail.
Considering Statements of Environmental Values
N/A
The ECO did not request proof of SEV consideration from the ENG in 2015/2016.
Co-operation with ECO Requests
The ECO asked the ENG for meetings, information and assistance several times this year. The ministry was extremely helpful in providing information and assistance – in some cases on a tight deadline. At the ECO’s request, the ministry also re-affirmed its commitment to the EBR.
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in 2015/2016.
Legend

Quality of performance:

Meets or exceeds expectations
Needs improvement
Unacceptable

Relative EBR Workload:

High
Medium
Low

Ministry Comment

The Ministry of Energy thanks the Environmental Commissioner for providing valuable feedback on the ministry’s compliance with the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993 (EBR).

Over the past year, the Ministry of Energy has consulted on a number of important issues, including regulatory amendments designed to improve energy efficiency of consumer products and the enabling of partial funding to connect remote First Nation communities to the provincial transmission grid. Part of the consultation process includes informing the public of the outcomes resulting from the Ministry’s decisions. The Ministry recognizes the value in posting decisions in a timelier manner and has since taken action to remedy its two outdated decisions.

In 2015-16, the Ministry received one application for review. Going forward, the Ministry will continue to carefully review and consider all applications for review within the scope of the EBR while at the same time consider ways to improve responses, taking into account the ECO’s recent evaluation.

Ministry of Energy (ENG) – Percentage of all Policy, Act and Regulation Proposal and Decision Notices, 2015/2016:

ENG-Chart

ENG by the numbers in 2015/2016
 
ENG
All Ministries
Proposal and Decision Notices for Policies, Acts and Regulations Posted
9
210
Total Proposal and Decision Notices for Policies, Acts and Regulations Reviewed by the ECO
9
401
Outdated Proposal Notices as of April 1, 2016
2
839
SEV Consideration Documents Requested by the ECO
0
194
Applications Concluded
1
13

To view other ministries’ EBR report cards, go to Government Performance on this website and select the ministry of your choice.

The ECO’s full report to the Legislative Assembly on the 2015/2016 EBR report cards can be accessed here.

Key Outstanding ECO Recommendations

In our annual reports, the ECO makes recommendations to improve EBR compliance and environmental protection. The Ministry of Energy has several outstanding ECO recommendations, including:

  • The ECO recommends that the government proclaim and implement the provision for mandatory home energy efficiency disclosure in the Green Energy Act (2011 Energy Report)
  • The ECO recommends that the Independent Electricity System Operator make publicly available the estimated greenhouse gas emissions factors for Ontario’s electricity consumption on an hourly basis (2011 Energy Report)
  • The ECO recommends that the Ministry of Energy build upon the work completed in the Long-Term Energy Plan and produce a comprehensive multi-fuel energy plan (2010 Energy Report)
  • The ECO recommends that the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure provide an opportunity for public input in the development of policy directives to electricity sector institutions, as required by the Environmental Bill of Rights (2009 Energy Report)

ECO Recognition Award

Since 2000, the annual ECO Recognition Award has recognized the hard work of ministry staff in an initiative that benefits Ontario’s environment and meets the goals of the EBR. Every year, the ECO asks prescribed ministries to submit programs and projects to be considered for the award. The Ministry of Energy has not yet been the recipient of the ECO Recognition Award.

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