Energy Sector Calls for National Regulatory Task Force

Read the report: Net Zero: An International Review of Energy Delivery System Policy and Regulation for Canadian Energy Decision Makers

(Ottawa – April 21) Energy utilities around the world are working to reimagine the fuels and energy services they offer consumers. A critical barrier to emissions reductions around the world, and in Canada, stems from the fact that utility legislation – which sets out what a utility can invest in doesn’t work in a Net Zero future

Currently, environmental benefits, including greenhouse gas reductions, are not actively considered in the decision-making process of many utility regulators, each of whom interpret and follow the utility legislation in their province or territory. This poses a challenge as Canada and countries around the world continue to set more stringent emission reduction goals. In Canada, over 55% of all the energy used by consumers is delivered on regulated infrastructure, and provincial/territorial economic regulators focus first on minimizing end cost to consumers. This essentially means that, until utility legislation and policymaking changes to account for emissions reductions, progress towards environmental targets will continue to be stifled as utilities are hindered from investing in solutions that will reduce greenhouse gases and enable national Net Zero emissions by 2050.

To better understand how Canada can reform utility legislation in Canada, the Canadian Gas Association and Electricity Canada are releasing the flagship report titled: Net Zero: An International Review of Energy Delivery System Policy and Regulation for Canadian Energy Decision Makers. This report presents international case studies and a roadmap for Canada to amend and update utility regulatory policy and legislation. The report also received financial support from Natural Resources Canada and was written by Gattinger and Associates. It draws utility legislative and policy reform insights from three countries including Australia, the UK and the United States (New York State).

Central to the report’s findings is that Canada must prioritize the creation of a time-limited task force with a mandate to develop concrete legislative and policy reform. The task force would convene federal, provincial, and territorial policy makers and regulators alongside Indigenous and municipal governments and organizations, industry, civil society and academic leaders to identify policy, legislative and regulatory barriers. The work of such a task force would not supplant existing efforts towards emissions reductions, but rather serve to reinforce, better coordinate, and strengthen them.

Key to the approach is that it respects the roles of federal, provincial/territorial and municipal governments and the diversity of energy markets across the country. Such a process would be collaborative, transparent and represent the expertise needed to successfully accomplish it.

The findings of this report will be discussed at Electricity Canada’s annual Regulatory Forum held in Vancouver on May 4. Details on the Regulatory Forum can be found here.


“If Canada wants to achieve the goal of zero carbon emissions by 2050, then energy companies need the freedom to invest in solutions that will help make that happen. We have seen this first-hand with many electricity companies in Canada, who need to do more, faster, to increase the capacity of the electricity grid and reduce greenhouse gas emissions – only for it to be hampered by outdated legislation. This report comes at a critical time. Policymakers in Canada need to pay serious attention to the recommendations of this report, and the examples given from other countries who have made similar legislative changes. Electricity Canada welcomes this new report and the guidance it has to offer.”
Francis Bradley, CEO, Electricity Canada

“The natural gas delivery industry has played a foundational role in ensuring Canadians have access to clean, affordable and reliable energy to meet their daily needs. The industry is committed to a culture of constant improvements, and this includes making important investments in enhancing environmental performance and innovation. The recommendations shared in this report will provide key guidance for utilities, policymakers, and regulators to ensure that the regulatory environment is modernized in a way that meets the needs and objectives of the industry – today and in the future. The natural gas industry is looking forward to continuing to engage all stakeholders to advance energy innovation and reach environmental objectives.”
Timothy M. Egan, President and CEO, Canadian Gas Association

“In our effort to lower emissions and fight climate change, Canada needs access to every tool in the toolbox. This means ensuring that communities across the country have access to reliable and affordable clean energy. Canada has one of the cleanest electricity power grids in the world and through initiatives like the Clean Electricity Standard and the Pan-Canadian Grid Council, which would provide external advice in support of national and regional electricity planning, we are building on this foundation. That is why I welcome this report - as we work towards achieving a net zero electricity grid by 2035, publications like this one will continue to contribute valuable recommendations and perspectives on the most effective pathways towards a more sustainable Canada.”
Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources

About Electricity Canada
Electricity Canada members generate, transmit and distribute electrical energy to industrial, commercial, residential, and institutional customers across Canada every day. From vertically integrated electric utilities, independent power producers, transmission and distribution companies, to power marketers, to the manufacturers and suppliers of materials, technology and services that keep the industry running smoothly -all are represented by this national industry association.

About the Canadian Gas Association
The Canadian Gas Association (CGA) is the voice of Canada’s gaseous energy delivery industry, including natural gas, renewable natural gas (RNG) and hydrogen. CGA membership includes energy distribution and transmission companies, equipment manufacturers, and suppliers of goods and services to the industry. CGA’s utility members are Canadian-owned and active in eight provinces and one territory. CGA members meet 38 per cent of Canada’s energy needs through a network of over 573,000 kilometres of underground infrastructure. The versatility and resiliency of this infrastructure allows it to deliver an ever-changing gas supply mix to over 7.3 million customer locations representing approximately two-thirds of Canadians. CGA members ensure Canadians get the affordable, reliable, clean gaseous energy they want and need. CGA is also working to constantly improve that gaseous energy offering, by driving forward innovation through the Natural Gas Innovation Fund (NGIF).