How P.E.I. plans to reduce its electricity consumption

In 2021, Islanders will be consuming about 1.2 per cent less electricity than in 2020, if all goes according to a new plan to reduce the rate of electricity consumption in the province.

Efficiency PEI submitted 3-year, $13M plan to IRAC for review

The plan takes aim at electricity consumption on the Island, with the hope that consumption in 2021 will be 1.2 per cent less than in 2020. (Nancy Russell/CBC)

In 2021, Islanders will be consuming about 1.2 per cent less electricity than in 2020, if all goes according to a new plan to reduce the rate of electricity consumption in the province.

Efficiency PEI, which is a division of the provincial government that offers rebates and programs aimed at helping Islanders reduce their energy consumption, recently submitted its proposed Electricity Efficiency and Conservation Plan to the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission (IRAC).

Mike Proud of Efficiency PEI said the plan will cost about $13 million over three years, the bulk of which will be paid for by federal and provincial governments.

More rebates coming

Efficiency PEI already has a number of incentive programs to encourage more energy efficient products, but Proud said it will be rolling out more programs, including one for light bulbs that will be launched in the fall.

Proud said there will also be year-round rebate programs for appliances — such as refrigerators or washing machines.

Efficiency PEI plans to launch a new year-round rebate program for appliances. including refrigerators and washing machines, in the fall. (Patty Chan/Shutterstock)

"For a refrigerator, probably $50 or $75 — somewhere in that range — we're just putting the final touches on that program. Light bulbs it'd be a couple of dollars, depending again on what kind of bulb you're buying," Proud said.

He added that in addition to consumer programs, Efficiency PEI will be announcing programs for non-residential customers, as well.

Still encouraging heat pumps

Maritime Electric saw its highest ever peak this summer for electricity usage, something that could be linked to increased heat pumps and air conditioners being used during a heat wave.

Proud said Efficiency PEI will continue to encourage people to make the switch from oil to heat pumps.

Mike Proud says Efficiency PEI will continue to offer incentives to switch from oil to heat pumps. (CBC)

"Yes, some people will say heat pumps are going to increase the load and we're likely seeing that now."

He said the rebates P.E.I. offers are for the highest efficiency heat pumps available — citing a study done a few years ago that found most people interested in buying a heat pump will do so whether or not incentives are available.

"What our incentives are designed to do is say, 'OK, you've made that decision, you're going to buy a heat pump, we're  going to give you an incentive to buy the most efficient one available.' So the impact on the system is as low as it can be," he said.

'Starting off slow'

The plan covers the next three years.

"Beyond that, we'd have to look at the next plan and the next iteration and we may try to attempt to get to the energy strategy target of two per cent [reduction] per year," Proud said.

"We're starting off slow, working our way through this, getting some experience."

The plan is currently being reviewed by IRAC, and Islanders are welcome to send their feedback on the plan to IRAC before Sept. 7.

More P.E.I. News

With files from Kerry Campbell


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.