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Canada Needs a National Energy Management Strategy

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A Message from the CEO

Why is Canada worried about growth, jobs and prosperity? Our energy and water resources are the envy of the world. Why aren’t we leveraging the natural advantages we have?

Perhaps it’s because Canada has these gifts in such abundance, they have been carelessly managed. Complacency, waste and inefficiency have kept us from securing economic security for our people.

Just recently, I learned The Business Council of Canada has launched a Task Force on Canada’s Economic Future to find answers for these important questions. Throughout the next several months, they will be gathering ideas and recommendations on what Canada’s economy needs now. It’s an important initiative. I commend them for their efforts.

Canada needs a national energy management strategy. Every company that has implemented a concerted, comprehensive energy management program has seen its productivity and operational performance improve. A national program, targeted to help all enterprises better manage energy, would do wonders for our nation’s economic prospects.

There are several reasons why Canada’s government and executive leaders have delivered mediocre energy performance:

  • They don’t believe that energy is even a controllable cost. “Just pay the bill” is the common refrain;
  • They don’t understand energy markets and supply options;
  • They’ve been sold on technology as the only solution. Government equipment grants are the “quick fix”;
  • Energy management is simply framed as an engineering issue;
  • Utility data is inaccessible. It is difficult to upload, track and analyze;
  • No one has ever shown them how energy management maximizes every department and function; how energy integrates procurement and supply management, operations, internal audit, HR training, accounting, environment, engineering and technology.

The level of energy literacy is a chronic problem in Canada. A national program for enterprise level energy management would enable Canadian business to:

  • Be more competitive;
  • Be more innovative;
  • Enhance company team work and breakdown departmental silos;
  • Identify emerging organizational leaders;
  • Trim their environmental footprint;
  • Make energy a controllable input cost;
  • Integrate supply management with conservation;
  • Demonstrate Canadian leadership;
  • Enhance a culture of continual improvement;

Canada can no longer be complacent about our economic prospects. A national energy management program would show our government and business leaders how to responsibly manage our endowment of energy and water resources for growth and jobs within a smaller environmental and climate footprint.  

When the Canada Business Council Task Force reports later this year, I hope they might agree.


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