May 17, 2023

Energy Sobriety: Reducing Consumption in Quebec as an Economic Lever

On May 3rd, the Chaire Énergie – HEC Montréal hosted the Energy Sobriety: Reducing Consumption in Quebec as an Economic Lever conference. In his opening remarks, the event host, Pierre-Olivier Pineau, painted a bleak picture of energy productivity in Quebec. “The good news is that there is plenty of room for improvement!” he added.

Among the solutions, Andre Rochette, founder of Ecosystem, emphasized the importance of breaking down silos between departments (operations, finance, environment), budgets, and objectives. Whether in the commercial, industrial, or institutional sector, equipment replacement and/or maintenance is the ideal moment to take a step back and think about energy projects differently. Furthermore, changing the way request for proposals are launched can make a huge difference. Focusing on the expected results of the project rather than the products to be replaced (i.e., launching a request for solutions) promotes the creativity of engineers and encourages the market to innovate. And now, more than ever, is the time to take advantage of the many financial levers available in Quebec, before they give way to stricter regulations as seen elsewhere in North America, similar to Local Law 97 in New York.

The other good news is that the technologies exist, as Andree-Anne De Gagne pointed out, making it all the more reason to take action! If we look at what is happening elsewhere, energy sobriety often involves a stricter regulatory framework or an adapted energy pricing structure. This is what Sylvain Audette proposed by suggesting pricing as an incentive for new ideas. Finally, energy efficiency, as seen by Hydro-Quebec, and the importance of evaluating the energy performance of residential buildings were also covered at the event.

To access the video of the conference (in French), click here.

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