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2002

 

A case study approach on the effects of restructuring the electricity sector towards energy efficiency in residential areas

(Mr. George McCourt, McGill School of Environment)

Regulation reform in the electricity industry has become a topic of interest for economists and policy analysts alike as more and more jurisdictions seek to restructure their energy sectors. While stakeholders continue to debate the effects of such reforms on the price of electricity, the research presented here seeks to determine the effects of regulation reform on the electricity industry’s energy efficiency in the residential sector. This question is important because the literature has shown energy efficiency to be an excellent tool in alleviating financial hardship for the residential consumer.

We have selected three regions for study: Argentina, California and Alberta. The studies are confined to five main areas. These are: • Price – We examine the effects of regulation reform on the price of electricity in the residential sector. • Demand – We examine the effects of regulation reform on the demand for electricity in the residential sector. • Nature of Programs – We offer a qualitative analysis of energy efficiency programs in the residential sector and examine the effects of regulation reform on such programs. • Expenditures – We offer a quantitative analysis of expenditures on energy efficiency programs and examine the effects of regulation reform on such programs. • Energy Savings – We offer a quantitative analysis of the energy savings associated with energy efficiency programs and examine the effects of regulation reform on such savings.

Barriers and tools for energy efficiency: A socio-economic approach

(Mr. George McCourt, McGill School of Environment)

Canada is the sixth largest consumer of energy in the world. In recent years, due to the growing environmental, economic and social concerns associated with energy use, it is desirable to reduce energy consumption. One way to reduce energy use is to improve energy efficiency in the residential sector. However, technological, economic, financial, institutional, and behavioural factors can all act as barriers to improving residential energy efficiency.

Our client, l’Union des consommateurs, is interested in defending the rights of low-income energy consumers in Québec. Three research questions were designed to aid in their work. A methodology was developed in order to answer each question. Question 1: How big is the potential for energy efficiency in the Québec residential sector? The methodology to address this question involved the evaluation and comparison of three different calculations, by various organizations, of energy-efficiency potential for Québec. Question 2: What are the barriers within various socio-economic classes that inhibit consumers from being more energy efficient at home? This question was addressed by categorizing barriers, discussed in various sources of literature, based on which socioeconomic class is inhibited by them. Question 3: What are the appropriate “tools” that are needed to help each socio-economic class of residential consumers overcome the identified barriers to energy efficiency? The methodology for question 3 involved identifying the tools that were used in programs that have been developed to improve energy efficiency in the residential sector.

Assessing the Effectiveness of the Citizen Submission Process at Enhancing Enforcement of Environmental Law in the Signatory Countries of the NAFTA

(Prof. Jaye Ellis, McGill School of Environment & Faculty of Law)

 

Improving the Commission for Environmental Cooperation's Citizen Submission Procedure: Recommendations Based on Human Rights Complaint Mechanisms

(Prof. Jaye Ellis, McGill School of Environment & Faculty of Law)

 

Marketing recommendations for an urban greenhouse in NDG

(Prof. Madhav Badami, McGill School of Environment & School of Urban Planning)

 

Biodiversity Management Plan

(Prof. Bruce Case, Associate Member, McGill School of Environment & Department of Pathology)

The Biodiversity Management Plan for Breckenridge Creek Watershed, Phase I was conducted at the request of the Nature Conservancy Canada (NCC) – Quebec Region. It examines the ecological significance (both physical and biological components) and social (i.e. human components) of Ghost Hill Farm, a four-hundred-acre site located within the Breckenridge Creek Watershed. Ghost Hill Farm is considered to be provincially significant habitat and is slated to become a part of the planned four-thousand-acre Breckenridge Creek Watershed Project. The project will protect important wetland, forest, and grassland habitat within the Ottawa River Valley, a primary area of conservation focus for the NCC. In this management plan, Ghost Hill Farm will be referred to as ‘the site.’ The vulnerable, rare, and special concern flora and fauna species present on the site, or potentially able to inhabit the site, are examined in terms of their physical and biological requirements. Threats to these target species are determined, and recommendations to minimize these threats are discussed. The social component of the site is examined in terms of past, present, and projected human land use. Human threats to the flora, fauna, and habitats of the site are noted and recommendations to counteract these threats are discussed. The resources necessary to complete this management plan included extensive literature reviews, site visits, discussions with the client and landowners, and development and application of a management framework.

Emerging Trends In Forest Certification: The Role of Chain of Custody Systems

(Prof. Arun Agrawal, formerly McGill School of Environment)

 

Brownfield Remediation: Solutions for Urban Agriculture

(Prof. Madhav Badami, McGill School of Environment & School of Urban Planning)