Enabling Sustainable Growth

Goal 9: Advance Electrification and Demand Management

We will advance electrification in a prudent manner that benefits customers and our provincial electricity system, and minimizes the impact on peak demand.

Electrification refers to switching from fossil fuels such as gasoline, diesel, oil, and natural gas to clean electricity. While most of the electricity we produce is from renewable resources, much of the energy consumed in our homes, buildings, cars and industrial operations still comes from fossil fuels. Switching from fossil fuel consumption to renewable energy consumption reduces GHG (green house gas) emissions and contributes to environmental protection and takes action against climate change.

Renewable electricity is viewed to be critical for displacing fossil fuel consumption. We need to ensure we manage the impact of increasing clean electricity use to decrease fossil fuel usage as this will increase consumption on our provincial electricity system. Specifically, we need to manage our resultant peak demand – the time when demand is highest for electricity. Keeping our customers warm and comfortable during cold winter days is essential, and we must plan for and maintain adequate electricity to meet daily peaks. Where possible, we need to prevent strain on our system, minimize our environmental footprint by using less fossil fuel generation to meet demand, and help keep rates stable for our customers.

Electrification of the transportation sector is a significant opportunity for GHG reduction; it represents almost a third of our provincial GHG emissions. In 2021, Hydro completed the first provincial network with 14 fast-chargers on the island to increase electrification of the transportation sector and thereby reduce GHG emissions. Our first-ever fast-charging network represents an important milestone in overcoming a major barrier to electric vehicle ownership – availability of charging stations for longer trips. In its first year of operation, the charging network displaced close to 50 tonnes of GHG emissions. In the next three years, we will expand the charging network, educate the public, execute programs that promote electric vehicle ownership and support the provincial government through facilitation of customer rebates.

There are further opportunities to transition to renewable energy in homes, buildings and industries. We will continue to remove barriers related to awareness and affordability through customer education programs and rebate programs for low-carbon heating solutions in residential homes and commercial operations.

  1. Enable transportation electrification in the province to increase domestic energy sales, and ensure we plan to minimize the impact on system peak. Subject to regulatory approval, we will collaborate with Government and Newfoundland Power to facilitate rebates for electric vehicles and smart chargers, support the expansion of the provincial DC fast-charging network, provide customer education for electric vehicle ownership, electrify our own fleet vehicles, and pilot demand-response programs to shift electric vehicle charging loads to off-peak times to reduce potential impact on system peak demand.

  2. Manage the transition to low-carbon heating in residential and commercial buildings. We will provide customer education for heating alternatives, encourage efficient heating systems which limit the impact on system peak demand, and work with the provincial government to support space heating decarbonization in Newfoundland and Labrador.

  3. Manage electrification of commercial industries within the province to mitigate impacts on system peak demand. We will support efficient electrification of industrial processes in commercial industries while continuing to manage the peak demand impact. Where appropriate, to accommodate the additional demand, we will pursue opportunities for interruptible and capacity assistance agreements.

  4. Develop and execute programs that promote efficient use of electricity. Through our partnership with Newfoundland Power, we will continue to promote energy efficiency initiatives and peak demand management through the takeCHARGE! program. Additionally, as home heating is a large driver of electricity consumption in isolated diesel communities, we will promote the use of alternate sources of heat for these customers.