Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Victoria for pointing out in the context of her speech about biofuels and the valuable debate we need to have about demand side management generally. I was taken by some of her comments regarding the efficiency of demand side management versus the generation of new units of energy.
I believe I heard her say that a unit of energy harvested from the existing system by demand side management measures is exactly the same as one produced at a generating station or taken out of the ground as a unit of energy from fossil fuels, except for a number of important differences. One is that unit of energy harvested from the existing system is available at approximately one-third the cost of digging it out of the ground or producing it at a generating station. It is also available and online immediately. In other words, if we turn off a light switch as we leave a room, that unit of energy we have saved can be resold to another customer in the same instant instead of the seven year lag period it might take to build a new generating station or to dig another oil well.
Also, the demand side management measures that my colleague is recommending create as much as seven times the person years of job opportunities as those created by the harvesting of natural resources such as in the oil fields or building hydroelectric dams.
These points are rarely raised in the debate about alternate fuels. In the context of biofuels we should be looking at a holistic approach toward how we are going to answer our energy demand needs in the future with dwindling energy supplies.
I do not believe any province in this country or certainly the national government has done nearly enough to investigate the enormous potential in demand side management of our precious energy stocks and resources. I think it would be helpful to those MPs listening today if my colleague expanded on the need and importance of demand side management and energy retrofitting.