Ontarians Hit With Another Unaffordable Hydro Increase

From the Office of Ontario PC Party Opposition Leader Patrick Brown

Posted April 15th, 2016 on Niagara At Large

Queen’s Park, Toronto – On May 1st, the people of Ontario will find yet another increase on their monthly hydro bill, with rates expected to rise $37.56 annually. 

Ontario PC Opposition Leader Patrick Brown

Ontario PC Opposition Leader Patrick Brown

 “Electricity rates in the province are skyrocketing and it’s only getting worse,” said Leader of the Official Opposition Patrick Brown. “Since November, bills have gone up $186.96 a year for the average consumer.  These rates are excessive for the average Ontarian.”

Ontario has the fastest rising hydro rates of any province or state in North America. 

This is the latest unaffordable hydro increase for Ontarians, who were faced with another Ontario Energy Board (OEB) rate increase in November 2015.

On January 1st, the Wynne Liberal Government also terminated the Clean Energy Benefit, representing a 10 per cent reduction in electricity charges, and the Ontario Electricity Support Program came into effect creating an additional cost for Ontarians.

“There’s a reason the Liberals don’t want to talk about hydro rates,” added Patrick Brown.  “The legacy of the Wynne Liberals 13 years in government will be unaffordable energy rates in the province. What this government should be doing to help fight electricity price increases is to stop wasting money.” 

While many Ontarians struggle to pay their hydro bills, the OEB claims rates are rising in part due to lower than expected usage over the winter.

“Of course the Wynne Liberals would blame rate increases on the weather.  Of course they ignore the fact that the province produces enough surplus power that we could power the province of Nova Scotia for five years,” Brown stated.

“What’s more, this government just signed another 5 wind generator contracts, for which we pay nearly double Quebec’s average.  This is the reason we have higher rates in the province, and it’s why companies see our rates as a barrier to doing business.”

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3 responses to “Ontarians Hit With Another Unaffordable Hydro Increase

  1. 1990s Ontario Conservative Party started the process of “privatization”. Ontarians then began to pay for Liberal Government lack of foresight. Liberal Government overpaid for cancellation of gas plants – signed a blank cheque. Liberal Government overpay for solar and wind power set up. Liberal Government encourage creation of surplus power to sell to neighbouring provinces/states for $0.03/kwh. Liberal Government intends to give away up to 60% profits from its sale of Hydro One. The current Ontario Government is so short-sighted it cannot see past Wynne’s Pinocchio nose.

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  2. Patrick Brown is the last guy who should be complaining about hydro rates. Before his predecessor, Mike Harris, broke up Ontario Hydro and partially privatized Ontario’s most valuable public asset, Ontario was very near the lowest cost power in all North America. In less than 20 year we are now near the highest.

    Hydro’s founder, MPP Sir Adam Beck, fought tooth and nail against private interests to establish Ontario Hydro in the 1920’s, just to see a fascist, corrupt, tin pot dictator, Mike Harris, give it all away. But not just Harris. Now we have Premier Wynne privatizing 60% of Hydro One, the delivery and distribution infrastructure.

    Ontario Hydro, pre-2000, was the goose that laid Ontario’s golden eggs.

    What if Ontario Hydro existed today?
    1) Ontario would still have the lowest cost electricity;
    2) Hydro’s massive infrastructure debts would have been easily paid down long ago in today’s climate of low interest;
    3) There would have been no gas plant scandal since the plants would have been Hydro owned therefore could have been shutdown for millions, not billions;
    4) Today Ontario pays huge premiums for green power to foreign companies. Ontario Hydro would have been commissioned with the task developing green power with specific targets to reach using profits generated by conventional power.

    Now if privatizing part of just the generation end bought Ontario from the lowest cost power to near the highest in less than 20 years, what might we expect in the next 20 years with 60% of the distribution network privatized???

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  3. Perhaps the problem was that Ontario Hydro ‘lied’ (gave false information) to 3 successive governments of 3 different parties. Harris appointed an investigator to research this and then decide that the best solution was privatization.

    As with most decisions, it was right and wrong.
    Privatization created competition, but didn’t solve the costly burden of the failed Nuclear plants which provide 60% of our electricity. Our May and November rate increases are caused by refurbishing those Nuclear plants which should be closed & decommissioned.

    We should buy cheap Hydro from Hydro Québec and Manitoba Hydro which have surplus to sell us more cheaply than the Nuclear plants can provide. (Did you know the IESO hides the Nuclear refit cost in the Wind & Solar section of the Global Adjustment? It should be shown in the rate charged by the Nuclear plants, as is done with the Hydro stations.)

    You can find most of this information at http://www.gridwatch.ca

    PS. If you look at Gridwatch at different hours on different days, you will see that they are Always exporting power, regardless of whether it’s made by Wind, Solar, Hydro or Nuclear. It’s par too the normal business plan of the IESO to export power, regardless of what price they get.

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