Social Permission in a Time of Outrage

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.

Click here to download the full slideshow from Greg’s presentation.