New transportation database consolidates provincial ZEV mandates, policies and incentives
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Nov 28, 2019
Brian Banks

Debut provincial energy efficiency scorecard tracks a spectrum of policies, including those on personal transportation, EV and PHEV financial incentives and “EV Ready” building codes

Canadian Provincial Energy Efficiency Policy Scorecard. Source: Efficiency Canada

Debut provincial energy efficiency scorecard tracks a spectrum of policies, including those on personal transportation, EV and PHEV financial incentives and “EV Ready” building codes

As Canada and the provinces develop policies and strategies to fight climate change and accelerate the growth of a low-carbon energy infrastructure, energy efficiency is a must.

According to the International Energy Agency, our country could meet 40 per cent of its national energy needs by 2050 if every province and territory were to implement comprehensive energy efficiency policies.

The publication last week of the first-ever Canadian Provincial Energy Efficiency Scorecard — in tandem with a searchable database of provincial and territorial energy efficiency policies — is a much-needed resource to help ensure we get there.

Provinces evaluated and scored

Efficiency Canada Report Canadian Provincial Energy Efficiency Policy Scorecard
Efficiency Canada Report: Canadian Provincial Energy Efficiency Policy Scorecard

The substantive, 190-page report — compiled by a team of policy experts at Efficiency Canada, a Carleton University-based research and advocacy group — itemizes and evaluates each province’s energy efficiency achievements and policies and gives them a score.

British Columbia comes out first overall in this initial tally. It received a score of 56 out of a possible 100 points, followed by Quebec (48), Ontario (47) and Nova Scotia (45). At the other end, New Brunswick sits in eighth, with 24 points, ahead of Saskatchewan (18) and Newfoundland and Labrador (15).

To get these results, the report benchmarks leaders against laggards in five policy areas: programs, enabling policies, buildings, transportation and industry. B.C. scored highest in three of those categories: buildings, enabling strategies and industry. Quebec is the national leader in transportation efficiency, while Nova Scotia is tops in energy efficiency programs.

In an op-ed accompanying the report’s release, its authors Brendan Haley and James Gaede noted that not only do policymakers need a way to track best practices and compare programs and policies, but that “as a nation we should be encouraging friendly competition across the provinces to maximize their efficiency potential.”

Transportation policies tracked

Keeping score is indeed a great way to get the competitive juices flowing. But the most valuable part of this package for many policymakers, researchers, efficiency advocates, innovators in the private sector, and even the general public, may be the searchable database.

For Electric Autonomy Canada’s audience, the transportation database will be of particular interest.

The platform tracks four key policies that, according to Efficiency Canada, “reflect the potential energy savings of closer integration of private transportation with buildings and electricity grids.” These are: zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate; electric vehicle charging program EV and PHEV financial incentives, and “EV ready” building codes.

In each case, the database presents users with easy-to-navigate drop-down menu access to brief summaries of each province’s relevant policies. Review dates and links to pertinent regulations round out the documentation.

Seven categories scored

In the main report, this information is further broken down into seven categories which provide the basis for the transportation scoring results. Those categories, which the report assesses in detail, are: existence of a ZEV mandate; policies to support public charging stations; high-efficiency vehicle consumer incentives; support for EVs and PHEVs in building codes; EV/PHEV registrations; public-charging availability, and commute-to-work scores.

As noted above, Quebec currently scores highest in transportation, with 14 out of a possible 17 points. B.C. is a close second (13), with Ontario and New Brunswick tied in relatively distant third place (7).

“Scores for the transportation category reflect provincial policies and performance in energy efficiency, primarily in personal transportation, thereby targeting the integration of private transportation with buildings and electricity grids,” the report explains.

“For future scorecards, we will investigate ways to expand on our consideration of transportation efficiency.”

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