Three calculations of energy efficiency potential for Québec were examined. The Hydro-Québec development plan, 1990 determined the technical potential for all of Québec to be 45 TWh and the economic potential to be 27.6 TWh. The overall objective for 2002 was 9.3 TWh. This was later revised to be 6.2 TWh. The Service Plannification Commerciale calculated the potential to be 10.9 TWh for the Québec residential sector in 1992. The greatest potential for savings was found to be in heating, appliances, and water heating. Hydro-Québec and the Energy Efficiency Agency estimated the potential for energy efficiency in the Québec residential sector to be 3.47 TWh. This calculation included oil, natural gas, and wood as well as electricity. This was determined to be the best estimate as it was calculated more recently and therefore takes into account such things as improved technologies, an increase in available programs, increased regulations, a better understanding of parameters, and reduction in avoided cost.
To answer this question, barriers were classified by socio-economic class. The barriers for all socio-economic classes were determined to be: pricing of energy below its true cost; attitudes towards energy efficiency; and construction of new homes insofar as builders have no incentive to use more energy efficient insulation which can be more expensive. Universal barriers that are amplified in the lower socio-economic classes include: information access, uncertain technologies; consumer credit; lack of knowledge; unfavorable payback period; high initial capital costs; and difficult installation. For the low socio-economic class, the barriers are tenancy, low liquidity, and high perceived discount rates. For average income houses, the main barrier is that energy costs are a small part of the household expenditures constituting only 3% of income whereas energy costs are 14% of low income households' expenditures.
We found various tools identified by Natural Resource Canada, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Schipper et al to help overcome barriers to energy efficiency. The main tools were leadership, information and education, volunteering initiatives, financial incentives, regulation and research and development. We examined various programs created by different organizations, as these tools are used in programs for overcoming barriers to energy efficiency. The programs we examined came from Natural Resource Canada and the Office of Energy Efficiency at the federal government level, as well as both federal and provincial level programs in conjunction with non-governmental organisations. In Quebec we examined programs from energy supplying companies alone and in conjunction with non-governmental organisations.
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