Energy efficiency for buildings in Toronto and Calgary multi-level policy mix analysis

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Title: A Policy Mix Analysis on Energy Efficiency Policies Targetting Buildings in Toronto and Calgary

Authors: John Lau and Dr. Christina Hoicka


Strengthening energy efficiency is a quick and cost-effective strategy for reducing energy use in the buildings sector, which accounts for 17% of Canada’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and over 19% of Canada’s energy end-use. Public policies are a crucial tool for stimulating energy efficiency improvements in buildings. This paper summarizes and describes the findings of an analysis of the mix of municipal, provincial, and federal energy efficiency policies that target buildings in the Canadian cities of Toronto and Calgary. Each city was selected for its leading GHG emissions, budget, building count, and population as compared to other cities in Canada.

Since no single public policy has the flexibility or capacity to address all environmental concerns in all contexts, a mixture of different policies, or “policy mixes” must be employed to capture the range of policies that affect the life cycle of energy efficiency products and services. A method for evaluating the effectiveness of a policy mix for improving energy efficiency in buildings is to determine if it targets and addresses the research, development, demonstration, and diffusion (“RD3”) stages of energy efficiency technologies for buildings. A total of 91 policies were identified and compiled between April and May of 2019 and analyzed for the effectiveness of the mix. We provide advice on how to improve energy efficiency in buildings in Canada.