Greg Lyle presented his findings and advice on navigating social permission in a time of outrage to the Ontario Energy Network. Among the points he made are:
- You need support to build things people don’t like and pay more for something we take for granted.
- As publicly regulated utilities, energy companies require social permission to operate.
Most major energy company projects fall into the category of LULU’s –Locally Unwanted Land Uses.
- No one buys a house and hopes that someone will build a pipeline in the backyard, a substation across the fence or a generating station down the road.
- In these circumstances, directly affected people are quick to actively oppose a project and the broader public can easily and quickly identify with those who will be impacted.
- This can result in an environment which creates expensive delays in constructions, a loss of reputational capital and invites intervention by government.
- Policy challenges are no different. No one WANTS to pay more for electricity, but they can be convinced it is necessary.