Ontario Federation of Agriculture Commentary
By Pat Jilesen, OFA Director
Energy is a hot topic these days. What options we have, how much we pay for it and where it is available. As the Ontario government launches its consultation process to develop the next Long-Term Energy Plan, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is submitting an official submission with our priorities.
Anyone can contribute through in-person or online consultations, or provide a written submission – untilDecember 17, 2016. Details are provided at Ontario.ca/energytalks
The Ministry of Energy is seeking public input to develop the next Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP) that will outline the path for maintaining a reliable supply of clean, affordable energy. For agriculture, and OFA’s 36,000 farm business members, energy represents a vital farm input. We depend on affordable energy to grow our farms, businesses, communities and the Ontario economy.
The Premier’s challenge for growth in the agri-food sector also relies on a readily accessible, consistent supply of affordable energy. Rural needs are critical to achieving a successful long-term plan for all our energy needs.
OFA’s official submission to the province’s Long-Term Energy Plan will focus on three key priorities, although there is a lengthy list of opportunities, possibilities and considerations that would be valuable to review.
- Rural Ontario needs access to natural gas and renewable natural gas systems to reduce energy costs and help stimulate the rural economy.
- Rural Ontario needs a combination of fuel solutions to meet rural needs and address climate change.
- Rural Ontario needs effective smart metering and smart grid technology to manage energy generation, distribution and load use.
A responsive, reliable energy grid with access to safe, affordable energy will help sustain and expand Ontario’s agri-food sector, and help us meet the Premier’s challenge for growth. OFA is asking the Ontario government for a strong rural focus in the next Long-Term Energy Plan, balanced with reliability, conservation and community considerations that will benefit all Ontarians.
Read OFA’s full submission to the Long-Term Energy Plan at ofa.on.ca