Principle 1: Transparency
A plan to restore confidence in an open, accountable system with an engaged provincial Legislature and system-wide rules that respect the public’s right to be informed:
1. Government should provide broad, overall electricity policy direction and goals. This should include economic, environment, social or other objectives. The overall policy direction should be tabled by the government for consideration by the Legislature.
2. To ensure transparency and affirm independence, the IESO and OEB should have to disclose the subject matter and attendees of any meetings with provincial government officials in a timely manner.
3. Long term electricity planning should incorporate the overall policy direction of the government.
Principle 2: Competition
A commitment to competitive processes that help support lower costs for both government and electricity consumers:
4. Competitive processes, wherever feasible, should be used for the procurement of any new system capacity or energy in the future.
Principle 3: Objectivity
A commitment to smart electricity decisions informed by rigorous cost-benefit analysis and objective procurement criteria that ensure Ontario ratepayers are getting the best value:
5. Policies and programs to achieve climate change objectives should be compared and evaluated based on their economy wide costs and benefits, and not be targeted specifically to the energy sector in isolation from other sectors.
6. Electricity procurement and system design decisions should require objective criteria, comparison of alternatives, cost benefit analysis, robust and open stakeholder and public participation processes, consideration of economic impacts across the province and be consistent with planning for other government programs and policies.
Principle 4: Independence
Implementation of government policy direction should be left to properly resourced independent agencies like the IESO, OEB and Ontario Electricity Safety Authority who can be held accountable by the provincial Legislature:
7. As an essential condition for improved decision making, the government should reinvigorate independent sector oversight with an appropriately resourced Ontario Energy Board.
8. The implementation and oversight of electricity and natural gas energy system planning should be the responsibility of independent regulatory agencies, such as the Independent Electricity System Operator, the Ontario Energy Board and the Ontario Electricity Safety Authority.
Ontario’s electricity sector governance and planning framework should be revised to reflect these fundamental principles. This will help ensure the sector’s cost effectiveness, reliability and ability to adapt to information.