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Ontario power rates to rise under new plan – Toronto – CBC News

Ontario power rates to rise under new plan – Toronto – CBC News.

Energy rates to rise

Energy rates to rise 2:36

The Ontario government has unveiled its long-term energy strategy and if you’re paying a power bill, you can expect to pay up to 33 per cent more in coming years.

 

The average monthly bill in Ontario right now is around $125 per month. By 2016, that will jump to $167 a month. Within 20 years, the average bill will rise to $210 per month.

 

One of the factors is the end of the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit, which currently knocks 10 per cent off part of your hydro bill. There are no plans to continue that program beyond 2015.

 

Instead, the Wynne government will introduce programs aimed an encouraging ratepayers to use less power.

Boost in conservation efforts

The government expects Ontarians to boost conservation by 11 per cent over 20 years by making the following changes:

  • A possible rise in the price difference between peak and off-peak hours for power use.
  • A new program to offer loans for renovations that boost energy efficiency, with the cost added to the user’s monthly hydro bill.
  • Changes to allow each ratepayer to view their electricity usage rates compared and contrasted with those of their neighbours.

The Liberals will still proceed with upgrades to nuclear reactors at the Darlington and Bruce generating stations starting in 2016. The government also plans to shut down the Pickering nuclear station by 2020.

 

The government says though rates are going up, they are not as high as predicted in the last energy plan released three years ago.

hi-ns-electricity-metreOntario’s Liberal government rolled out their energy plan Monday, and conceded that electricity bills will be going up. (CBC)

 

The opposition argues this is not good news, saying the reason the province doesn’t need new sources of power is because so many manufacturing jobs have been lost in Ontario.

The Progressive Conservatives said the Liberal power strategy will fail to bring back lost jobs and will drive companies out of the province.

 

 

“This is a government that’s actually doubled hydro rates and chased 300,000 manufacturing jobs out of the province,” said PC Leader Tim Hudak.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said Ontario families and businesses pay the highest electricity rates in Canada because of the Liberal government’s policies.

“This doesn’t look like a plan for affordable power,” Horwath told the legislature. “It looks like a desperate government trying to hold on to political power.”

With files from CBC’s Genevieve Tomney, The Canadian Press

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We’re Paying for Bad Energy Policies | Candice Malcolm

We’re Paying for Bad Energy Policies | Candice Malcolm.

It’s tough competition for headline space in the media lately. Tax policy and energy price adjustments just don’t have the same appeal as a mayor smoking crack or secret cheques to cover fraudulent housing expenses.

However, the boring stuff has far more impact on our lives than the circus that follows the eccentric and scandal-plagued leaders in our country.

Not all scandals are equal.

The Ontario Liberal’s political decision to cancel gas plants in vote-heavy ridings, on the other hand, actually affects our bottom line. The consequences of the gas plant boondoggle are now coming to fruition, as evident in the drastic rate increase in our power bills starting on November 1st.

The price for off-peak power has increased by 7.5 per cent per kilowatt-hour, and 4 per cent during peak hours. Compare that to the rate of inflation, which is currently about 1.2 per cent. Our off-peak power rates — the time of day we were previously told to use energy to save money — has been hiked by more than six times the rate of inflation!

Political interference from the premier’s office is responsible for the exasperating price tag of the cancelled gas plant, which could actually exceed the estimated cost of $1.09 billion. The recent auditor general’s report states that $625 million of that tab will be passed on to electricity ratepayers in Ontario, who will foot the bill over the next 20 years.

And, as of November, we will fork over more of our after-tax income to the Ontario Power Generation.

Politics often boils down to concentrated benefits and diffused costs. The Liberals — who benefited significantly from cancelling these plants by saving at least four seats during an election where four seats really mattered — are hoping that no one will notice this rate increase.

When thirteen and a half million Ontario residents split the tab and pay it off over 20 years from both their tax bill and energy bill, it’s less noticeable. That is diffused costs. And that is how our politicians get away with such blatantly partisan, self-interested decision-making.

Unfortunately for this government, that isn’t the only factor contributing to rising energy prices in Ontario. The cancelled gas plants are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the mismanagement of the energy file.

The costly and ill-conceived Green Energy Act, which saw billions of taxpayer dollars go to corporate welfare and subsidies to foreign firms, also drives up costs for electricity ratepayers.

Meanwhile, taxpayers pay for a billion-dollar-a-year subsidy known as the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit, a 10 per cent discount to household energy bills to cover the skyrocketing price tag for green energy.

Yes, taxpayers subsidize both the production and the consumption of green energy.

It gets better. Our government also pays some green energy producers not to do anything at all. We learned earlier this fall that Ontario pays some of its wind turbine farmers not to produce energy.

Ronald Reagan must have been talking about Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli’s policies when he explained how government works: “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

Ontario taxpayers and ratepayers will be stuck for the tab for the incompetence and mismanagement of our energy ministry for years to come. We may not always see it in the news, but we certainly see it in our electricity bills and on our pay stubs.

 

We’re Paying for Bad Energy Policies | Candice Malcolm

We’re Paying for Bad Energy Policies | Candice Malcolm. (source)

It’s tough competition for headline space in the media lately. Tax policy and energy price adjustments just don’t have the same appeal as a mayor smoking crack or secret cheques to cover fraudulent housing expenses.

However, the boring stuff has far more impact on our lives than the circus that follows the eccentric and scandal-plagued leaders in our country.

Not all scandals are equal.

The Ontario Liberal’s political decision to cancel gas plants in vote-heavy ridings, on the other hand, actually affects our bottom line. The consequences of the gas plant boondoggle are now coming to fruition, as evident in the drastic rate increase in our power bills starting on November 1st.

The price for off-peak power has increased by 7.5 per cent per kilowatt-hour, and 4 per cent during peak hours. Compare that to the rate of inflation, which is currently about 1.2 per cent. Our off-peak power rates — the time of day we were previously told to use energy to save money — has been hiked by more than six times the rate of inflation!

Political interference from the premier’s office is responsible for the exasperated price tag of the cancelled gas plant, which could actually exceed the estimated cost of $1.09 billion. The recent auditor general’s report states that $625 million of that tab will be passed on to electricity ratepayers in Ontario, who will foot the bill over the next 20 years.

And, as of November, we will fork over more of our after-tax income to the Ontario Power Generation.

Politics often boils down to concentrated benefits and diffused costs. The Liberals — who benefited significantly from cancelling these plants by saving at least four seats during an election where four seats really mattered — are hoping that no one will notice this rate increase.

When thirteen and a half million Ontario residents split the tab and pay it off over 20 years from both their tax bill and energy bill, it’s less noticeable. That is diffused costs. And that is how our politicians get away with such blatantly partisan, self-interested decision-making.

Unfortunately for this government, that isn’t the only factor contributing to rising energy prices in Ontario. The cancelled gas plants are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the mismanagement of the energy file.

The costly and ill-conceived Green Energy Act, which saw billions of taxpayer dollars go to corporate welfare and subsidies to foreign firms, also drives up costs for electricity ratepayers.

Meanwhile, taxpayers pay for a billion-dollar-a-year subsidy known as the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit, a 10 per cent discount to household energy bills to cover the skyrocketing price tag for green energy.

Yes, taxpayers subsidize both the production and the consumption of green energy.

It gets better. Our government also pays some green energy producers not to do anything at all. We learned earlier this fall that Ontario pays some of its wind turbine farmers not to produce energy.

Ronald Reagan must have been talking about Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli’s policies when he explained how government works: “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

Ontario taxpayers and ratepayers will be stuck for the tab for the incompetence and mismanagement of our energy ministry for years to come. We may not always see it in the news, but we certainly see it in our electricity bills and on our pay stubs.

 

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