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Canada’s Eco-warriors work to Create Canezuela

The word “fabricate” always comes to mind when reading press releases from the renewable energy crowd like CanWEA and CanSIA but not in the good way meaning to “construct or manufacture”!  Instead what enters the mind is the first definition of the word which is to “invent (false information)”!  That latter definition was in recent full display in respect to several press releases coming from CanWEA, CanSIA, Waterpower Canada and a few others.

Specifically, the press releases were in respect to a letter signed by 12 parties addressed to PM Trudeau and was assumedly fabricated by Merran Smith, Executive Director, Clean Energy Canada, Simon Fraser University with the major theme being:

The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the vulnerability of the systems Canadians rely on, systems that stand to be similarly disrupted by climate-related impacts in the future absent a sustained and accelerated effort to mitigate carbon pollution while enhancing systemic resilience.”

Comparing the Covid-19 pandemic to the “climate emergency” is quite a stretch, ie: “fabrication”! The Covid-19 pandemic took just three months to severely impact the world’s economy whereas those shouting the world will end because of global warming unless we reduce carbon emissions has been their message for three decades.

The forecast that systems will be “similarly disrupted by climate-related impacts; is a fabrication!  No mention is made in the letter that emissions will contribute to “global warming” which has been the favourite dogma of the eco-warriors. Perhaps avoiding the term “global warming” is because recent evidence suggests increased emissions are not having that effect, as many real scientists have noted. A very recent headline in fact stated “Artic April Grips North America Breaking Hundreds of All-time Records” and looking back to April 2018 we were also experiencing an extremely cold April and meteorologists proclaimed: “April 2018 will likely end up being in the top 5 of the coldest in recorded history.”  These events (facts) are perhaps throwing a “wet blanket” on the past “global warming” forecasts by those reputed experts?

It is worth recalling a decade ago, “climate alarmists” and the “renewable energy” crowd convinced our naïve OLP Premier, Dalton McGuinty and Minister of Energy, George Smitherman, to create the GEA. Here is a look back at Smitherman’s and McGuinty’s quote’s in the Toronto Star in early 2009:  “Ontario’s Green Energy Act will create 50,000 new jobs in construction, trucking and engineering while laying the groundwork for developing projects more quickly, Energy Minister George Smitherman said today.”  “Premier Dalton McGuinty said while he understood a switch from making cars to making wind turbines may not be easy for workers in Ontario, green technology is key to boosting the province’s economy.”  Hmm, wonder how that turned out!

Fast forward from those days in early 2009 to see similar claims in the April 3, 2020 letter to our self-isolating PM signed by Robert Hornung. President of CanWEA and the other eleven who are either; not-for-profit eco-warrior groups or associations of “clean energy” industries, like CanSIA, WaterPower Canada, Electric Mobility Canada or Advanced Biofuels Canada etc.

The letter notes Clean Energy Canada commissioned a “modeling” by Navius Research and the result apparently was what they wanted and/or asked for.  Navius Research is a small research company whose employees/research experts seem to be products of the same University (Simon Fraser) housing Clean Energy Canada yet the letter to the PM didn’t disclose the conflicted connection.

The claim in the letter suggesting, “The analysis found that by 2030 Canada’s clean energy sector will employ 559,400 Canadians—in jobs like insulating homes, manufacturing electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, and ​building and maintaining renewable electricity projects​” is a rehash of what Ontarians were told except the claims are ten (10) times bigger.  Funnily enough, the employment levels suggested are actually less than those Natural Resources Canada reported as being employed (2018) in the oil and gas and related sectors in their recent “Energy Fact Book 2019-2020”.  Their facts state the oil and gas sector represented 7.7% ($160 billion) of Canada’s GDP and had direct and related employment of 576,000 jobs including 10,000 Indigenous people.

Most Canadians, if confronted with those two sets of facts, would be inclined to accept data provided by NRCAN rather than a prejudicial report from a small research firm whose experts were trained by those pushing to “mitigate carbon pollution”.

Just to “rub a little salt in the wounds” of Canadian taxpayers, Navius Research received approximately 20 contracts from the Federal Ministries of Natural Resources Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada valued in the neighbourhood of $800 thousand over the past several years.

The time has come to stop the madness of the eco-warriors who seem determined to turn Canada into Canezuela!

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The Canadian Version of “Dumb & Dumber”

Having just read the press release from the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) on how they are partnering up with ITC Investment Holdings Inc., and using $655 million of our tax dollars to build a 117 kilometre underwater transmission line connecting Ontario with the PJM Interconnection, the 1994 movie, “Dumb & Dumber” immediately came to mind.

ITC is a Michigan based company (subsidiary of Fortis Inc.) and they will own 60% of the project with the balance owned by the CIB.  As a bit of an oxy-moron Michigan Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, is planning to shut down the Line 5 pipeline which supplies oil to Ontario refineries (includes aircraft fuel, etc.), chemical plants etc. in Sarnia, and where propane is produced and supplies Ontario and Quebec farms and households. Line 5 also supplies refineries in the US and homes and farms in Michigan with propane.  Interestingly, enough Line 5’s entry into Michigan is also underwater and is the reason Gov. Witmer wants it closed. What this implies is if Whitmer is successful, it will cause job losses in Ontario while our tax dollars will create jobs in Michigan.  That suggests those in Canada making the decision on this project are “dumb”!

The time estimate to complete the Lake Erie underwater PJM connection is 4 years which would mean it should be operative in 2025,  That year happens to be the same year the Pickering nuclear plants will be taken out of service. Those plants currently provide 2,500 MW of capacity and generally run at their maximum so closure will remove 2,500 MWh (megawatt hours) of supply to Ontario’s ratepayers almost every hour of the day.  Additionally, Ontario’s grid operator, IESO, forecasts the closure will create a supply deficit in the summer months when Ontario demand peaks. One wonders if IESO were consulted or involved in the discussions leading to the CIB jumping on board and if not then it adds “dumber” to the announcement.

The “Endorsements” contained in the CIB press release serve to make the reflections of those quoted look “dumb and dumber”.  Here are a couple of their quotes with some observations! 

First, we will start with Ehren Cory, CEO, Canada Infrastructure Bank who stated: “This project will allow Ontario to export its clean, non-emitting power to one of the largest power markets in the world and, as a result, benefit Canadians economically while also significantly contributing to greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the PJM market. The project allows Ontario to better manage peak capacity and meet future reliability needs in a more sustainable way. This is a true win-win for both Canada and the U.S., both economically and environmentally.”

Had Mr. Cory actually done some research with IESO he may have learned Ontario will be facing a shortfall from the time Pickering Nuclear is closed in 2025 until new reliable power is added, meaning Ontario will not have any of “its clean, non-emitting power” available to export.  How then could it contribute to any “greenhouse gas emissions reductions”? Dumb?

Second, here is what Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, Minister of Indigenous Affairs had to say: The Lake Erie Connector demonstrates the advantages of public-private partnerships to develop critical infrastructure that delivers greater value to Ontarians. Connecting Ontario’s electricity grid to the PJM electricity market will bring significant, tangible benefits to our province. This new connection will create high-quality jobs, improve system flexibility, and allow Ontario to export more excess electricity to promote cost-savings for Ontario’s electricity consumers.”

Three years into the portfolio and from the basis of his comments he has still more to learn! Similar to Mr. Cory above it appears Minister Rickford also didn’t speak with anyone at IESO as he suggests the $655 million in Federal tax dollars used to build the Lake Erie underwater transmission line will “allow Ontario to export more excess electricity to promote cost-savings for Ontario’s electricity consumers “.  Had he spoken to IESO they would have perhaps explained we will be potentially facing an energy shortage once the Pickering Nuclear plants are closed. What that infers is we will not have “more excess electricity” to export! Dumb?

Third, this is what Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities apparently said: With the US pledging to achieve a carbon-free electrical grid by 2035, Canada has an opportunity to export clean power, helping to reduce emissions, maximizing clean power use and making electricity more affordable for Canadians. The Lake Erie Connector is a perfect example of that. The Canada Infrastructure Bank’s investment will give Ontario direct access to North America’s largest electricity market – 13 states and D.C. This is part of our infrastructure plan to create jobs across the country, tackle climate change, and increase Canada’s competitiveness in the clean economy.”

As one will note Minister McKenna, also famous for attending an illegal cock fight and eating dog pretty well maximizes the fallacies of the prior two quotes illustrated above and expands on them.  Once again, a call to IESO or perhaps a chat with Minister Rickford should have disclosed in 2025 when this project may be complete it would have spelled the end of “an opportunity to export clean power, helping to reduce emissions, maximizing clean power use and making electricity more affordable for Canadians.“  It will do none of those things!  If this is part of their “infrastructure plan to create jobs across the country, tackle climate change, and increase Canada’s competitiveness in the clean economy“ we are in big trouble!

Throwing our tax dollars at a plan that cannot be justified in any way is a total disservice to all Canadians or to summarize, this is both “dumb and dumber” than perhaps anything we have seen before aimed at wasting our taxes.

To paraphrase Mr. Corey; this a true economic loss for Canada and our taxpayers.

What Caught my Eye this Past Week or so!

Not sure if it’s the lock-down or just a normal week but a few things caught my eye because they seemed out of place and interesting.  Here they are!

Russia to Offer Carbon Credits With Far East Digital Forest Platform

I happened to read an article in the Moscow Times (credited to Bloomberg) claiming, “Russia is creating a digital platform to collect satellite and drone data on its vast forests in the Far East with the aim of offering them on the carbon offset market.” What that implies iswhen it launches later in 2021, will allow the government to lease sections of forest to enterprises, which can then invest in planting new trees or protecting existing ones.” 

What came to mind after reading the article is the opportunity something similar could do for Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau who promised that young Swedish “climate change” warrior, Greta Thunberg, he would plant 2 billion trees. The answer to his prayers perhaps, as he has been far too busy at his Rideau cottage to actually plant anything since the pandemic broke. He could also unleash the same concept on Canadian businesses to do what the Russian’s propose as between the Federal and Provincial governments about 89% of the land (almost 8.9 million square kilometers) in Canada is owned by either the Federal or Provincial governments.  He will just have to tell them where to plant the trees.

The other thing that struck me was as Canada’s forests are the 2nd largest (347 million hectares versus Russia’s 763 million) in the world why not make the same claim they did!  Russia claims their forests absorb 38% of their emissions so, based on that premise; Canada’s forests would be absorbing about 140 million tonnes which would bring us very close to our 2030 emissions target.  The Trudeau led government has increased the carbon tax imposed on all Canadians to $170/tonne by the time 2030 arrives so, adopting Russia’s concept would allow them to cancel future “carbon tax” increases.  Yahoo!

IESO Board Determination on a Market Rule Amendment

The second thing that caught my eye came from Ontario’s IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator).  IESO manage Ontario’s electricity grid doing what they can to ensure we are not impacted by brownouts or blackouts as Texas recently experienced. IESO announced: “A market rule amendment proposal to limit the IESO indemnity to losses caused by gross negligence, subject to the current limitations on recoverable damages, was adopted by the IESO Board of Directors and is currently planned to take effect on May 3, 2021.”  

Outward appearances suggest should events (blackouts) similar to what happened in Texas occur in Ontario, IESO want to limit potential lawsuits to actions proving “gross negligence” only!  ERCOT, the Texas grid operator is facing many huge lawsuits due to the winter storm the week of February 14, 2021 so presumably this is what inspired IESO to amend this Market Rule.

 Ontario should follow the recent Texas lead

Texas’s political leaders have reflected on the recent blackout and about two weeks ago, the Texas Senateunanimously approved a bill that would slap fines of up to $1 million a day against electricity and natural gas companies that balk at weatherizing facilities and would set up a system for warning the public about the risk of impending blackouts similar to one now used for hurricanes.”

As one would expect the renewable energy crowd, big tech and the financial institutions are upset about the bill but it appears to be a great idea following the review on the causes of the blackout. 

While Ontario’s electricity system is fully weatherized, the precedents of the Texas bill do open up an interesting possible act here in Ontario.  What is suggested is an act to reduce our costs of electricity!  Our Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, Greg Rickford should consider an act penalizing renewable energy generating surplus electricity during low demand times such as the middle of the night or on weekends.  That surplus energy creates huge losses as IESO are forced to sell or curtail our surpluses (to avoid blackouts) to NY, Michigan, etc. at very low rates which are subsidized by Ontario ratepayers. Those events cause Ontario’s ratepayers to pay considerably more than $1 million a day. Here is an opportunity to reduce those ratepayer/taxpayer costs but let’s up the costs to generators to $5 million per day!

The time has come for Minister Rickford to act and deliver on the promise to reduce electricity rates by the 12% we were told would happen should the Ford led OPC party be elected. Here is the chance for them to prove they meant what they promised to those who voted for them!

Some good news on electricity costs

The foregoing title is a little deceptive as when Marc Patrone and I were speaking this morning on his show at Sauga Radio 960 AM we also covered a fair amount of other ground. Some of the other topics discussed were short spurts about pipelines, China, Russia’s forests and even briefly about housing costs. You can listen to our full discussion on the podcast starting at 41:10 and ending at 58:00 here:

or if you are a subscriber to NEWSTALK CANADA you can listen here:

https://newstalkcanada.com/?page_id=2527

Tom and guest Parker Gallant discuss the economics of “green” energy

Tom Harris invited me on his Exploratory Journeys podcast on i Heart radio and we spent about 1/2 hour discussing the economics related to “green” energy. We cover a fair amount of ground related to the electricity sector in Ontario particularly on the costs of renewable energy.

You can listen to the podcast with Tom Harris here but please note there are a couple of commercials before our chat:

Wow! January and February 2021 show declining Ontario electricity costs!

For the first time in a decade Ontario experienced a reduction in the costs of grid generated electricity for two months in a row so the question should be; who should we thank?

As it turns out the Ontario demand for electricity in the first two months of 2021 were actually up slightly (1.3%) from 2020 or just under 300,000 MWh (megawatt hours) and about what 200,000 average households would have consumed in two months.  The costs of generation for January 2021 including both the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) plus the GA (Global Adjustment) dropped from $116.24/MWh to $99.83/MWh and for February it dropped from $127.31/MWh to $82.94/MWh.

So, why did costs decline?                                                                                                                                              

Was it because the Ford led Government took action and passed an Act to reduce the rates paid to wind or solar* generators or the OEB (Ontario Energy Board) decreed they would reduce rates or because IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator) suddenly contracted for low-cost generation?

The answer is none of the above!  As it turns out we can thank “Mother Nature” for a big part of the cost reduction as wind generation fell by 17.2% or almost 438,000 MWh (what almost 300,000 households would consume in two month). That drop in output by those IWT (industrial wind turbines) saved $60 million in costs alone and additionally the slight increase in consumption noted above coupled with the fact that one of the Darlington nuclear units was shut down for refurbishment meant we had much less surplus generation that had to be sold to our neighbours in NY or Michigan.  Our net exports (exports less imports) sold in 2021 were only 1.007 TWh (terawatt hours) versus 2.694 TWh in 2020. The drop in sales of the surplus power of 1.687 TWh was also sold for a higher price (less suplus generation results in higher prices) which resulted in a reduction in our loss on those sales of $221.2 million year over year.  In 2020 the cost of our exports added $289.8 million to the costs of electricity but that cost dropped to $68.6 million in 2021 for those two comparative months.

To account for the reduced wind and nuclear generation Ontario’s natural gas plants stepped up to meet our needs generating an additional 522,000 MWh at prices reflecting only fuel costs and a small margin.  Most of those gas plants were added to ensure our grid reliability after the Green Energy Act was legislated back in 2009 and the OPA (Ontario Power Authority), since merged with IESO; contracted wind and solar generation they knew required backup due to their intermittent and unreliable nature.

No doubt the eco-warriors will be up in arms when they notice natural gas generation increased in January and February 2021.  Those eco-warriors should take a few moments to reflect on the fact that without electricity from natural gas generators many Ontarians may have died from the cold.

This is just another demonstration of the wasted cost Ontarians are continually forced to pay due to the GEA (Green Energy Act) and the contracts granted to wind and solar generators.

*Solar produces little power during the Ontario winter months and 2021 saw generation of only 0.071 TWh in January and February 2021 but it’s cost added about $32 million for very little generation.

Wind, Solar and Storage are cheap and will get us to net-zero emissions by 2050

Oh, and by the way, pigs can fly!

Should one visit CANREA’s (Canadian Renewable Energy Association) website you will be bedazzled by the braggadocio in their posts and the disasters that will befall us should we not heed their warnings.

Their latest post titled “Carpe Diem, Canada” concludes with this scary note: “We have a fleeting opportunity to avert a catastrophe for our children and grandchildren. We need to seize it. Today.” As one would expect averting the disaster is summed up in the secondary headline where the author, Robert Hornung, President & CEO of CANREA states we can do so: “only by putting wind, solar and energy storage at the centre of a comprehensive clean-energy transition, starting today.”  Reading the article is a bit like listening to Greta Thunberg speak as the article claims: 

Canada’s average temperature is increasing twice as fast as the global average and the signs of a changing climate are everywhere: our permafrost is melting, our coastal sea levels are rising, our snow-cover patterns are changing, and our weather is becoming more extreme, with floods, droughts, and intense storms on the rise.”   

and                                        

We are already seeing serious impacts on our ecosystems, communities, infrastructure and economies, and things are currently on track to get much worse.

What they are proclaiming is we need wind, solar and energy storage to achieve the “net-zero” 2050 emissions target. After having read the article and knowing wind capacity in Ontario is the highest in Canada enticed me to have a look at those IWT (industrial wind turbines) and their recent performance on a couple of IESO’s daily Generator Output and Capability Reports.

The first one I looked at was the March 27th report and in reviewing the hourly output I noted that hour 10 indicated the 4,786 MW of grid connected wind capacity generated only 18 MWh (0.4%) of their capacity and 12 hours later at hour 22 they generated 1,326 MWh (27.7%).  Deciding to look back to the same hours on March 26th IESO data indicated at hour 10 they generated 3,836 MWh (80.5%) of their rated capacity but by hour 22 they eked out only 360 MWh (7.5%) of rated capacity.                          

The foregoing bad habits of generation from IWT with their stop and start attitude serves to convolute grid management causing; water spillage at hydro plants, steam-off at Bruce Nuclear and ensuring gas plants are at the ready to supplement the on/off nature of their generation!  Often their generation is delivered when unneeded and causes them to be curtailed.  All of the foregoing are layered costs and ratepayers pay up to ensure grid stability.  Wind and solar, in particular, have been one of the principal reasons our rates in Ontario skyrocketed by over 100% since those IWT and solar panels have been sprinkled around our rural landscape. Now it appears the bright lights at CANREA want to add the costs of storage to the mix in order to keep the costs climbing and their members happy.  

The Ford led government have failed to stem the tide of climbing costs in the electricity sector and instead have saddled taxpayers with more than $6 billion in annual costs to keep electricity prices from doubling again!  Hopefully they ignore this latest misguided push by CANWEA or our rates will escalate further and drive away businesses who will move to provinces and U.S. states with lower cost electricity prices.

What the foregoing demonstrates is no one should believe a word coming from the mouth of CANREA and the claims that “wind, solar and storage” are cost competitive unless they can prove to all of us that  “pigs can fly”! 

Ontario’s failure over subsidized wind, solar, biomass energy glut

Marc Patrone kindly had me on his show on Sauga 960 AM once again today (March 30, 2021) and we discussed the costs of the Ontario Liberal follies during the McGuinty/Wynne era! Our chat was about the amount of money it cost us in 2020 for renewables (both transmission and distribution connected) and we also touched on other issues such as the Line 5 pipeline and its possible shutdown. Along the way we had a few chuckles over the mess we still have and the Ford government’s inability to do anything about the electricity sector other than saddle taxpayers with a big chunk of the costs. Have a listen to the podcast starting at 43:50 here:

or if you are a member of NEWSTALK CANADA you can listen here:

https://newstalkcanada.com/?page_id=2365

Wind, Solar and Biomass Continue Soaking Ontarians

The OEB just released the “Ontario’s System-Wide Electricity Supply Mix: 2020 Data” report and it provides information beyond what the IESO had in their mid-January report: the 2020 Year in Review  and the subject of an earlier article.  The OEB report includes generation occurring within the DX (distributor connected) sector in addition to what is TX (transmission connected)* generated and the basis of the IESO report. 

The OEB reported DX generated electricity in 2020 was 7.3 TWh (terawatt hours) or about what 810,000 average Ontario households (approximately 18% of all Ontario households) would consume in one year. DX generation in 2020 was up by 5 GWh (Gigawatt hours) compared to 2019 but the increase came from what is described as “Non-contracted” generation defined in the report as “a variety of fuel types that the IESO is unable to categorize due to a lack of information from Local Distribution Companies (LDCs).”

As it happens the three renewables classified as wind, solar and biomass actually had a decline in DX generation falling from 5.1 TWh in 2019 to 4.9 TWh with solar producing an identical 3 TWh compared to 2019, while wind declined from 1.7 TWh to 1.6 TWh and biomass from 4 GWh to 3 GWh.  If one adds what IESO stated was curtailed wind of 2.6 TWh in 2020 to what those three renewables generated it comes to 20.6 TWh or 2 GWh more than our gross exports were! 

Those exports** of 20.4 TWh (sold at an average price of $13.9*** million per TW) generated about $284 million. That’s $3.8 billion less than we paid for them had they consisted of the three renewables.  The latter is derived from the individual costs of wind at $135 million/TWh accepted, plus $120 million/TWh for curtailed wind which collectively cost us $2.3 billion.  Adding solar’s 3.8 TWh at $449 million/TWh  ($1.7 billion) and biomass at $150 million/TWh ($100 million) brings the costs of all three renewables to $4.1 billion. If all of those renewables were exported, they would have returned the estimated $284 million as noted costing Ontario ratepayers $3.8 billion.

What that means is; as ratepayers pick up the loss of the $3.8 billion it would represent a cost of 2.72 cents/kWh or $244.80 to the average household consuming 9,000 kWh annually. The annual cost would be much higher for small and medium sized businesses.

In Ontario we continue to suffer from the perils of the McGuinty/Wynne push for renewable energy brought to us via the GEA. It appears we will continue to suffer the consequences until those outrageous 20 year contracts for wind and solar expire or the Ford led government is inspired to actually do something to correct the Liberal endowment!

*The OPG’s annual report disclosed they were instructed to spill 4.3 TWh of hydro due to surplus baseload generation (SBG) conditions over the 2020 year which IESO did not disclose.

**The actual makeup of exported generation is not available as it depends on many factors.

***The average market price referred to as the market price ie; HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) averaged 1.39 cents/kWh in 2020.

Ruminations on the Ontario Liberal Electricity Legacy and Premier Ford’s inactions to correct them

I was on the Marc Patrone Show at 960 AM March 23, 2021 to discuss the Ontario Liberal Party legacy in respect to the electricity sector in the province.  We pointed out the billions of dollars in costs of the OLP legacy and how they continue!  At the same time the discussion noted that after almost three years in power the Ford led Ontario Conservative Party has done hardly anything to change the system other than shifting billions of $$$ in costs from ratepayers to taxpayers.

You can listen to our conversation on Sauga 960 AM here on the March 23rd podcast starting at 46:1 ending at 1:02.

The Ontario Liberal Electricity Legacy is Complicated

The Cost of Subsidizing Green Energy Contracts for Industrial and Large Commercial Ratepayers came from the Financial Accountability Office (FAO) of Ontario in a report issued March 18, 2021!  What it states is the upcoming three years (2021-2023) will burden taxpayers with a cost of $2.8 billion.

My take on that “burden” was an estimate of $3.8 billion in an article posted November 9, 2020 just days after the Provincial budget was released announcing the subsidy. I did note, at that time, my estimate was a “back of the envelope” calculation and several events have occurred since then affecting the cost estimates.  The FAO’s forecast is the cost is 2.2 times what the budget estimated it was going to be whereas my estimate was 2.9 times the budget number.

The FAO report goes into further detail suggesting out to 2040 “the renewable generation subsidy program will cost the Province a net total of $15.2 billion.” The latter is referenced in the FAO report as the “Net cost to the Province” as the report stated; if the current subsidy program remained in effect through to 2040 for all segments of electricity consumers the total cost would have been $38.6 billion plus a loss of $1.3 billion in HST.  What the recent amendments to the Ontario Electricity Rebate (OER) program did was reduce the “OER discount provided to residential, farm and small business ratepayers”, which resulted in a reduction of $24.7 billion in estimated costs over the 20 years.

No doubt many Ontario ratepayers will recall Ontario’s Auditor General, Bonnie Lysyk, in 2015 issued a report castigating the Ontario Liberal Party stating; “From 2006 to 2014, the electricity portion of the hydro bills of residential and small-business consumers increased by 70%. In particular, the Global Adjustment fees, covering the excess payments to generators over the market price, cost consumers $37 billion during that period, and are projected to cost another $133 billion from 2015 to 2032.”

That report from the AG was the bedrock used by the Ford led Ontario Conservative Party to make it a major issue during the leadup to the last provincial election and at that time they promised to reduce electricity rates by 12%.  We ratepayers are still waiting for that to happen!  With the advent of the relief provided by the province as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic our rates were reduced but the announcement from the OEB (Ontario Energy Board) on February 22, 2021 stated; “residential and small business customers will resume paying Time-of-Use (TOU) and Tiered pricing under the Regulated Price Plan (RPP) at prices that were set by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) on December 15, 2020.”  To put the foregoing in context a look at TOU rates before the Ford government were elected and comparing them to those announced by the OEB discloses the 12% promise is a distant memory as we see the percentage increases in all three categories has jumped by a large multiple of the inflation rate as the following depicts!

Time of Use    March 2018    March 2021    % Increase
Off-peak              6.5/kWh            8.5/kWh           30.7%
Mid-peak            9.5/kWh           11.9/kWh          25.2%   
On-peak             13.2/kWh          17.6/kWh           31.8%       

The difference between then and now is simply that back then the Wynne led government was using taxpayer monies to provide relief via the “Fair Hydro Plan” which subsidized rates by 29% (based on my bill) whereas the Ford government is now using taxpayer dollars to provide a subsidy of almost 98% (based on my bill).  It’s simply a case of incurring taxpayer debt to subsidize ratepayers.  Instead of taking money from our after-tax pocket they are incurring it for future taxpayers to pay.

In an interview back in March 2020 Premier Ford in response to the question about why he hadn’t achieved the 12% reduction in electricity rates went on and used the phrase “it’s extremely complicated”.  That phase is very similar to the phrases used by former energy ministers such as Bob Chiarelli and Glen Thibeault as well as the current leader of the Ontario Liberal Party, Steven Del Duca. 

What is obvious from the foregoing is the time has arrived for someone/anyone with basic common sense be appointed to the Ministry and make a serious effort to uncomplicate it!

Perhaps it’s simply a pipe dream!