Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in my place today to support Bill C-30, Canada's Clean Air Act
By introducing this bill, the government is laying the groundwork for one of the strictest atmospheric pollution and greenhouse gas emissions regulatory regimes in the world. Previous governments focused on voluntary measures. That approach failed. From now on, all industrial sectors will have to comply with strict regulations that we will enforce.
This evening, I would like to demonstrate to my colleagues how Bill C-30 can help achieve significant energy savings. Canadians are aware of steps to use energy more wisely. They know they can save money by keeping heat in their homes in winter, or cooling them more efficiently in the summer. And there is a growing awareness that saving energy also helps reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
Many businesses and institutions have saved considerable sums by upgrading or retrofitting their existing buildings to promote energy efficiency. The University of Calgary put energy efficiency upgrades in place in 1999. Since then, it has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by over 1,000 tonnes per year.
Ivanhoe Cambridge is one of Canada’s prominent property developers. Since completing energy efficiency upgrades in 2004, it has saved more than a quarter million dollars per year. The Toronto Dominion Centre in Toronto completed energy efficiency upgrades in 2001. It has saved over $4 million per year. These are big savings, Mr. Speaker. They are dramatic. They catch our attention.
But there are other more subtle ways to save energy and reduce emissions. There are ways to lower our energy use on a very small scale. But when you look at the big picture, these efforts quickly add up. They represent a potentially huge contribution to energy efficiency and cleaner air.
Every second of every minute of every day, Canadians are using very small amounts of energy called standby power on various devices. We use standby power in home entertainment products, such as home theatre systems, stereos, and DVD players. We use standby power in imaging equipment, such as printers, fax machines and photocopiers. We use standby power in computer equipment, including laptops, desktops, and workstations. We use standby power in cordless phones and battery chargers. And most of us are unaware of using that power.
A typical Canadian home has more than 25 devices that constantly use standby power. We use this electricity through standby power when the appliance is switched off or not performing its primary functions. It enables features such as clocks, timers, and remote controls.
Standby power consumption for most devices is small. It ranges from as low as half a watt to as much as 20 watts for some home entertainment products. But the number of devices drawing standby power is large. If you take the typical home, with its 25 devices consuming standby power all day and all night, and multiply by the number of homes on a city block, it is starting to add up.
If you multiply that again by the number of blocks in your community, and the number of communities in Canada, the use of standby power, every second of every day, has become enormous. In Canada, some 5.2 terawatt/hours is used per year by appliances in standby mode.
Now, when you consider the number of countries that have a market for consumer electronics, the problem is very serious indeed. In fact, there has been considerable discussion and action at the international level to reduce the amount of energy that is used on standby power around the world.
In 1999, the International Energy Agency proposed a global one-watt strategy. Appliances using standby power would seek a standard of one watt per hour. This one-watt initiative was endorsed by the G-8 leaders at the summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, in July 2005. Canada is a signatory. At least six governments—Japan, Korea, the United States, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand—have enacted or announced plans to regulate some aspect of standby power use.
It is time for Canada to join their ranks. Canada's clean air agenda sets in motion a series of initiatives that will meet the commitment we made at the Gleneagle summit. We will move to a one-watt target.
We will build on some of our recent successes. Natural Resources Canada administers the Energy Star program in Canada. The international Energy Star symbol helps consumers identify products that are among the most energy efficient in the market. Only manufacturers and retailers whose products meet the Energy Star criteria can label their products with the symbol.
Energy Star standards include standby power. Since 2001, Natural Resources Canada has promoted voluntary efforts by manufacturers and retailers on standby power as part of the Energy Star program. We will continue to promote consumer information through Energy Star.
But with Bill C-30, we will do much more. The revisions to the Energy Efficiency Act included in this bill will enable the government to deal with classes of products that use standby power.
In the coming months the government will meet with stakeholders who have an interest in standby power, and we will encourage the formation of an interest group to deal with the regulatory framework we want to create. We will develop standards for standby power, and test methods. We will use internationally recognized test procedures. We will evaluate the economic impact of the measures we will take. By 2008, we will have established regulations for a minimum allowable standby loss. These regulations will apply to consumer electronics, external power supplies, and digital television adapters. We will establish these standards to the same level as those implemented in California this year. In other words, they will be the best-in-class in North America.
By January 2010, we will have established regulations for a minimum allowable standby loss of one watt for consumer electronics, with an additional one watt allowance for clock display or other specific auxiliary functions. These standards will be equivalent to the current Energy Star levels.
In other words, we are taking the Energy Star standard—which is a tool to help consumers choose the most energy efficient product—and we will apply that standard to all consumer electronics. We will raise the bar on energy efficiency. Today's best practices will very quickly become tomorrow’s minimum requirement.
Every day, Canadian home-owners and Canadian businesses are taking important steps to use energy more wisely. You can see the results in their electricity bills and other energy costs. But every day, without realizing it, we are leaking small amounts of energy through standby power. These amounts may seem minuscule, but they add up. Nearly every household and every business uses standby power.
If we can use standby power more efficiently in every appliance, we can have a big impact overall. If all devices that consume standby power met the one-watt target, we could save about 3.9 terawatt-hours or the equivalent of removing over 480,000 households from the grid. Think of it: that is roughly equivalent to taking a city the size of Ottawa off the grid for home electricity use.
The regulations under the Energy Efficiency Act are the cornerstone of our proposals on energy efficiency. They will be cost-effective and provide lasting benefits, and they will help Canadian business compete in a global marketplace.
Let me close by saying we are focusing on much more than standby power consumption. More than 30 products now have regulatory standards based on the Energy Efficiency Act. Under the new regulatory agenda, there will be new minimum energy performance standards for another 20 products. These new products range from commercial refrigeration to traffic signals, from commercial clothes washers to battery chargers and from lighting products to industrial heaters. We will also increase the stringency of the existing standards for 10 products, ranging from residential furnaces to dishwashers to air conditioners.
Thanks to this legislation, Canada will be a world leader in terms of the number of products that are subject to energy-efficiency standards, and we will regulate 50 products, representing 80% of the energy used in households.
The savings from these standards are enormous and will help lower not only energy costs for Canadians individually, but also energy use on a national scale. And that means cleaner air. I urge hon. members to join me in taking the first steps in achieving this outcome and support a bill that will have such a major impact on energy consumption.