The CDM guidelines bring stability to the electricity system as a whole. The CDM includes activities that actively reduce peak requirements and/or electricity consumption from the electricity grid. Different renewable energy sources behind the meter (e.g. (solar modules for residential buildings) and energy-efficient technologies (which produce the same power while reducing the amount of electricity consumed) are also considered CDMs. As described in a recent Ontario Energy Association filing, Ontario`s former CDM framework had a proven track record of reducing costs for consumers, improving business competitiveness, reducing capacity constraints, moving more expensive capital solutions, and improving and maintaining system security. The 2020 Minister`s Directive discusses the intention of the new CDM framework to “continue to provide electricity consumers with opportunities to manage their electricity costs, establish grid stability for companies involved in the implementation of CDM programs in the province, and help meet electricity grid needs at a lower cost.” While this is the objective of CDM programmes in general, the new CDM framework continues the interim CDM framework to assist commercial, industrial and institutional clients (so-called ITC consumers) as well as First Nations, low-income and reserve-income private clients. The 2020 Minister`s Directive underscores the government`s view on the importance of the CDM in helping electricity consumers manage their energy costs, particularly in the face of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Investments in energy efficiency play a key role in the reliability of the electricity system. By 1 December 2020, the IESO must submit a four-year CDM plan, detailing the details of the CDM programmes to be proposed, including their estimated annual costs and the expected reduction in peak needs and the results of energy savings. Expected electricity savings and expected demand reductions are considered “targets” for the CDM plan. On 30 September 2020, the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines approved a Minister`s Directive (2020 Minister`s Directive) that requires the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to put in place a new four-year framework for energy saving and demand management (CDM) (new CDM framework). With the entry into force of the current CDM framework 2019-2020, new CDM programmes will be introduced by the IESO.
A new interim framework replaces the first framework for conservation, which was established by ministerial directive with effect from 21 March 2019. The new framework for provincial energy efficiency programs, also by ministerial order, began on April 1.