The Ministry of Energy (ENG) is one of 17 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.
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.
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
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.
The ECO evaluates prescribed ministries’ performance under the EBR. Here is the Ministry of Energy's EBR report card for the 2016/2017 reporting year.
ECO Comment: Generally, the ENG executed its EBR responsibilities well in 2016/2017. The ministry continued to post good quality notices to the Environmental Registry, but should make the improvements outlined below. The ENG ensured that all of its proposals on the Environmental Registry were up to date at the end of the reporting year, and documented its consideration of its Statement of Environmental Values for its environmentally significant decisions. The ENG was also helpful in responding to the ECO’s requests for information and assistance, and the ENG’s EBR co-ordinator was responsive to suggestions from ECO staff on Environmental Registry matters. However, the ENG continued to routinely post decision notices late, depriving the public of the right to prompt notice of the ministry’s decisions that affect the environment. Posting decision notices is a routine administrative matter, and the ECO encourages the ENG to commit to do so within 2 weeks of making a decision.
Quality of Performance
The score and trend indicator assigned to the Ministry of Energy in this category for the period 2016/2017, in our view, does not reflect the Ministry's increased efforts to post timely decision notices. ENERGY has posted final decisions on outstanding proposals and, compared to past years, has significantly reduced the time taken to post decisions, with almost half of our notices being posted within two to four weeks.
The Ministry continues to consider ways to improve its responsiveness, and trusts that the ECO will take this trend of improvement into account.
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 2016/2017 EBR report cards can be accessed here.
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)
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.