Posted by: energyblogwalter | February 20, 2006

Letter to Ministry of Energy

Hi Donna Cansfield, how are you?

Thank you and the Premier for answering a letter regarding general conservation issues in Ontario.

As a followup to make it easier, I’m going to ask regarding a single simple topic: Light bulbs.

Here’s an article I read recently online from the BBC titled “Light bulbs: Not such a bright idea” basically outlining how governments, not industry, are the ones lagging on energy policy that would benefit the economy and environment [my conclusion]. It offers some insight, tips and clear benefits. I trust you will find it as interesting as I did.

Please read the full article at

As a followup from you citing any issues raised in this article, I would like to get a response on *specifically why* the Ontario government hasn’t banned incandescent light bulbs yet, and not two pages on the amount of money spent on other initiatives. If you don’t know yet, please find out first, have a meeting, ask someone etc, then write your response.

Second request: please tell me how much energy in kilowatt hours/year can be saved for each $1 million dollars spent on replacing incandescant light bulbs. Again, if you don’t know yet, please find out first then include in your reply.

Third and final request: What is Ontario’s energy policy on banning the incandescent lightbulb, taxing them and then rolling the taxes back into subsidies for more compact fluorescent light bulbs?

Here are some quotes from this article. I think you will enjoy the analysis for Ministry of Energy ideas:

“”” Listening to most politicians, you would think the world’s energy problems can be solved only by building ever bigger power stations and burning ever more fuel……

One quick and simple option for improving energy efficiency would be to make greater use of compact fluorescent light bulbs……

Each one of these [fluorescent] bulbs produces the same amount of light as an incandescent light bulb whilst being responsible for the emission of 70% less carbon dioxide……..

[Light bulbs] waste so much energy that if they were invented today, it is highly unlikely they would be allowed onto the market…….

If we cannot deny ourselves incandescent light bulbs, which would require minimal sacrifice, how are we ever going to do the really difficult things such as cutting our reliance on fossil fuels, buying smaller cars or reducing our use of finite natural resources?…….”””

End of quotes from article.

Nothing personal, but if we are going to spend millions on a new Toronto waterfront power station and billions on nuclear power, but can’t even spend millions or create subsidies on changing a simple light bulb, I must continue to stringently question the validity of my government’s planning recommendations.

Industry is ready. Where is Ontario?

Thank you


  1. […]  […]

  2. (Letter from Ontario Ministry of Energy. Any typos are mine)

    Office of Conservation and Strategic Policy
    Bureau des economies energetiques et politiques strategiques

    May 12, 2006

    Dear Mr. Spicer:

    Thank you for your e-mail to the Honourable Donna Cansfield, Minister of Energy, regarding the points raised in Mr. Prescott's article, "Light bulbs: Not such a bright idea". I am pleased to respond.

    The reason the Ontario government. or any other jurisdiction to date, has not banned incandescent light bulbs is that there are still some applications (e.g. dimmable switches) and fixtures where only incandescent bulbs can be used. Once compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) reach a higher market penetration rate, the possible regulatory ban of incandescent bulbs will be considered and reviewed.

    The newly created Ontario Power Authority is responsible for electricity-related issues in the province of Ontario, and the new Chief Energy Conservation Officer is currently developing province-wide conservation programs. The government recently issued directives to the Ontario Power Authority to produce three programs that will further boost energy conservation in Ontario. One of the directives involved the promotion of CFLs throughout the province. I invite you to view the Conservation Bureau website at

    In response to your question about annual savings from CFLs, I offer the following quote from a recent powerWISE campaign:

    "If 4 million households in Ontario replaced just three 100-watt bulbs with 25-watt compact fluorescent bulbs, together we'd save 1.3 million kilowatt-hours- enough electricity to supply 130,000 homes or every house in a city the size of Windsor."

    (Page 2)

    That equates to approximately a $60M investment province-wide (@ $5/bulb), and an annual energy savings of approximately $130M (@ 10 cents/kWh), or about $2 of annual energy savings for every dollar invested. The government is aware of these potential savings and that is why it has directed the Conservation Bureau to promote the use of compact fluorescent lamps.

    I trust this information is helpful.

    Yours truly,

    Robert Stasko
    Conservation Branch

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