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The Future for LDCs: Are New Business and Regulatory Models Required for LDCs to Survive?

The Council for Clean & Reliable Energy and the Centre for Urban Energy at Ryerson University presented an important conference, “The Future for LDCs: Are New Business and Regulatory Models Required for LDCs to Survive?”. This conference provided LDCs with the opportunity to consider issues vital to their survival with industry, academic, legal and business experts.

LDCs have seen the cost of delivering electricity increase due to a number of factors beyond their control, including the effects of provincial green energy and conservation policies. While conservation and technological innovation reduce the load, the socialization of green energy costs increase system supply costs. These increased costs in turn create incentives for consumers to either leave the grid, or use it as a standby facility. The cumulative effect of these forces may require LDCs to adopt a new business model and may require, in addition, a new regulatory construct.

The conference provided a neutral forum for the examination of these critical business and policy issues.

Photo of Glen Wright
GLEN WRIGHT, Chair, Council for Clean & Reliable Energy
Photo of Robert Warren
ROBERT WARREN, Conference Chair, Partner, WeirFoulds LLP
Photo of Sean Conway
SEAN CONWAY, Visiting Fellow, Centre for Urban Energy, Ryerson University
The Future for LDCs: Are New Business and Regulatory Models Required for LDCs to Survive?
  • Welcome and Opening Remarks
    • Glen Wright, Chair, Council for Clean & Reliable Energy
    • Policy Context and Issues - Robert B. Warren, Partner, Weir Foulds LLP
  • Panel 1: What Changes Will Determine the Future for Electricity LDCs and How Soon Will the Changes be Upon Us?
    This panel addressed the factors that are going to require LDCs to adapt to radically changing circumstances. The presentations focused on the impact of technological changes that allow residential and business consumers to leave the grid. The panel explored the impact of renewables, energy storage and microgrids on the economics of LDCs as we know them. The pace of change and how it is making grid parity possible for more consumers and communities, and the risks of the stranding of assets if LDCs can't find ways to adjust to the rapidly changing circumstances were also examined.
  • Panel 2: How Can LDCs Adapt to a Brave New World?
    This panel examined the ways that LDCs might adapt to the change, and considered, for example, the option of charging stand-by rates, diversifying the LDC's business activities, and the need to merge with, or acquire, other LDCs. What a new business model might look like, and what it would take to adopt it was discussed.
  • Panel 3: Are New Business, Regulatory and Legislative Models Needed for the Electricity Sector?
    This panel examined whether new regulatory and legislative models are required. It examined, for example, whether the obligation to serve is obsolete and, if so, what should replace it, how governments will assure the reliable delivery of reasonably-priced energy in an opt-in electricity market, and the economic and social implications of a changed electricity system. The role of government in managing the change and the implications of those changes were examined.
    • Speakers:
      • Energy Policy and the Future for LDC's - Dr. Bryne Purchase, Adjunct Professor, School of Policy Studies, Queen's University
      • Sean Conway, Visiting Fellow, Ryerson Centre for Urban Energy
      • The Future for LDCs - Karen J. Taylor, Director, Advisory Services, Transactions and Restructuring, Global Infrastructure, KPMG LLP
      • Robert Nicholson, Managing Director, Power and Utilities Group, RBC Capital Markets

Event Sponsors

WierFoulds LLP Centre for Urban Energy Ryerson University Power Workers' Union

CCRE Partners

Richard Ivey School of Business - The University of Western Ontario Power Workers' Union