Boldface type on hydro bills doesn’t make statements true


The baby’s not smiling… he can see the future

If you just received your monthly electricity bill from Hydro One (presumably all local distribution companies will have the same message), you will be drawn to the boldface type declaring:  “Ontario’s Fair Hydro Plan saved you $XX.XX on your bill. This amount includes the 8% Provincial Rebate.”

The next paragraph elaborates on that message by telling you “Ontario’s Fair Hydro Plan substantially lowers electricity bills for typical residential consumers.  This includes the eight percent rebate introduced in January 2017 and builds on previous initiatives to deliver broad-based relief on all electricity bills.” (“Previous initiatives”? Huh?)

Also included with your bill is a leaflet (English on one side and French on the other) expanding on the wonders of the Fair Hydro Plan with a picture of a happy smiling family (mom and dad but not the one-year-old in mom’s lap) viewing a laptop computer. Right above the picture is a white on black square with the words “Ontario’s Fair Hydro Plan Bringing electricity bills down”.

The baby is right not to smile: the information on the bill and insert contain only selective facts.*

What’s missing: 

Missing on the bill and the brochure was an explanation on why our cost of electricity climbed well over 100% due to the Green Energy and Green Economy Act which handed out long-term, above market contracts for intermittent and unreliable wind and solar generation.

Missing was information about the cost of moving two gas plants to save Liberal seats in Oakville and Mississauga.

Missing was any information about why we pay gas plant generators hundreds of millions of dollars to sit idle to back up intermittent and unreliable wind and solar generation.

Missing was any mention about the Global Adjustment Mechanism (GA) forcing Ontario to export surplus generation to NY and Michigan for pennies on the dollar causing ratepayers to pick up hundreds of millions of missing dollars to cover the cost of surplus generation.

Missing was any mention of the hundreds of millions of dollars the curtailment of wind generation, steaming-off of nuclear or spilling of hydro costs ratepayers.

Missing is any mention of the costs of hundreds of millions of dollars to annually pay for discounts for LED lights, an energy-efficient furnace or a new energy-efficient refrigerator, etc., etc.

Missing was any mention of the hundreds of thousands of families placed in “energy poverty” who have had to choose to either buy food or pay their hydro bills.

Missing is any claim to the harm caused to humans and nature by the thousands of unreliable, intermittent wind turbines erected or any mention about how their installation is now affecting water aquifers in certain parts of the province.

Fairness is in the eye of the beholder and the current claim that the government is “Bringing electricity bills down” should be expanded to state what most Ontarians know: “Bringing electricity bills down” today, will cause them to rocket upwards in the near future due to our complete mismanagement of the energy portfolio.

(C) Parker Gallant

November 18, 2017


* Selective facts are “true” facts that only tell us part of the story.







Author: parkergallantenergyperspectivesblog

Retired international banker.

7 thoughts on “Boldface type on hydro bills doesn’t make statements true”

  1. Take a look at the statement made about industrial scale wind by the Power Workers of Ontario on their website:
    Why has this government not respected the assessments of professional engineers and power workers in this province?
    Not only does this government seem impervious to the raw reports of harm from rural residents and the research coming in from around the world that clearly suggests precaution should be taken to protect the health of nearby residents of turbines, but they appear to have also ignored the assessments of financial experts and engineers!
    Exactly who are they listening to?


  2. Ivey Business School (Western University) Energy Policy and Management Centre Policy Brief April 2017 reports that “The rates paid for renewable power are greater than rates paid for nuclear and hydroelectric power which provide the bulk of electricity for the province …..”

    The actual rates as reported in the Ontario Energy Board Regulated Price Plan Report, November 2016 to October 2017 in $/MWh are as follows: Nuclear 66, Hydro 58, Natural Gas 173, Wind 140, Solar 480, and Bio-Energy 131.

    The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) of Ontario has reported that emissions in Ontario are increasing (doubling between 2016 and 2032 – Ontario Ministry of Energy website data) because more wind turbines are coming onto the grid. The IESO’s recommendation is, that to reduce emissions in Ontario, shut off the wind turbines.

    The environmental impact of wind turbines is considerable (John Droz):
    “The mining and processing of these metals has horrific environmental consequences that are unacknowledged and ignored by the wind industry and its environmental surrogates. For instance,
    a typical 100 MW wind project would generate approximately:
    a) 20,000 square meters of destroyed vegetation,
    b) 6 million cubic meters of toxic air pollution,
    c) 33 million gallons of poisoned water,
    d) 600 million pounds of highly contaminated tailing sands, and
    e) 100,000 pounds of radioactive waste. (See this, and this, and this.)
    John Droz article “Twenty Bad Things About Wind Energy”


  3. Dont forget to include the costs to our social system as well….
    Like the psychological effects of living among these power plants….
    The physical effects of living among the power plants…..
    The abondoned properties that eventually erodes the tax base….
    The divisiveness among folks within our communities…
    The number of folks that will be forced off the grid with prepay hydro….
    And on and on and on…..


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