Madam Speaker, as I was saying, this bill replicates for all practical purposes the now defunct Bill C-30 on air quality introduced by the government. It caused considerable debate, especially at the Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development. The second part of Bill C-30 aimed to modernize and improve the Energy Efficiency Act. Of course, that legislation needed to be renewed, updated and improved. For that reason, among others, we will support Bill S-3.
However, the fact remains that it is clearly not enough and more needs to be done. It is clear from many of the comments made by stakeholders in the industrial and business sectors, as well as the environmental community, that the industry proposed these regulations with a shrug of their shoulders. That says it all. It is a step in the right direction, since the amendments presented in these regulations were necessary, but it is not nearly enough to address the problem and improve energy efficiency. We simply must go even further on this issue, because it constitutes one of the most important pillars in a real policy to fight climate change.
A climate change policy must have two basic components. The first is the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions at their source and changing our industrial processes and lifestyles in order to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One way this can be accomplished is by changing how we produce energy. In the next few years, we must reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, whether coal, gas or oil. We must develop new sources of energy in order to reduce our dependency on oil, for instance, which strains the budgets of individuals as well as of businesses and government. When we reduce our dependency on oil, we create conditions conducive to protecting the environment and improving the economy of our society.
This bill amends regulations to reflect advances in energy efficiency, especially with respect to standby power. That is significant. We must encourage such changes, suited to each type of appliance, especially in our homes. For example, an energy-efficient television will use 1 watt compared to 12 watts for a conventional television set. That is the case for certain appliances. If we really want to eliminate consumption, we should just pull the plug However, quite often we cannot because some devices have a memory and we would lose all the information.
It is important to update these technologies, to introduce regulations and to force businesses to change the manufacture of appliances especially when the technology is available. It is estimated that the implementation of new technologies for standby power alone could save families $35 a year and result in electricity savings equivalent to consumption by 300,000 households.
That part of the bill is good for the economy and for people's budgets.
This bill would also give the minister more power when it comes to labelling products that consume energy, and it would standardize the process, broadening the range of products to which labelling applies. That is important, but we feel that the government should go much farther. This kind of energy use labelling should not be restricted to appliances, such as dishwashers and televisions, or to light bulbs. It should also bring in a vehicle energy use labelling system like the one in Switzerland and elsewhere. In 2002, the Swiss implemented mandatory energy use labelling for new vehicles. That is the kind of energy use labelling we need.
Our proposed measure would require those who make and sell cars to affix a label containing information about fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and energy efficiency to all new and used vehicles for sale. We think that this information should also appear on brochures and all advertising material. Labelling would raise awareness among individuals and companies about vehicle efficiency by providing information about fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. People need that information to make responsible, well-informed choices.
We think that the government should go further than this bill and implement mandatory energy use labelling for new vehicles offered for sale, something along the lines of the Swiss system. I really want to emphasize that because we believe that energy efficiency is about more than the environment and environmental protection. It is also about saving money and creating jobs. This is an opportunity for businesses, states, nations and countries to create jobs based on energy efficiency.