Every aspect of modern society – food, housing, education, health, the economy, government – runs on energy. In 2016, Londoners and London’s employers spent over $1.4 billion on energy. Almost 90 percent of this money leaves London. Through conservation, efficiency, and more local energy production, we can keep more of that money here in London.
Most people think of electricity when they hear people talk about energy. However, for London, natural gas is the largest source of energy we use, accounting for 39 percent of our annual energy needs. Gasoline comes second at 29 percent of our needs. Electricity, as important as it is, accounts for 21 percent. Diesel, propane, and fuel oil account for the rest.
As seen from above, most of our energy needs are being met by fossil fuels – finite resources that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions as well as air pollution. In Ontario, most of our electricity is made from emissions-free sources such as nuclear power and hydro-electricity. Ontario’s phase out of coal-fired power plants in 2014 have helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.
In recent years, energy efficiency and conservation has improved in London. On a per person basis, Londoners use 20 percent less energy at home today than they did in 1990.
In 2016, London’s greenhouse gas emissions were over 2.9 million tonnes of equivalent carbon dioxide. This is 15 percent below 1990 levels and 18 percent below 2007 levels. This places London close to meeting Ontario’s reduction goals for 2020. Progress is being made to conserve energy, but more work needs to be done.