An earlier article reflected on how the Ford led government is kowtowing to the Trudeau led government and FEAR mongering in respect to the “climate change” crusade. It suggested the Minister of Energy, Todd Smith was pushing for more negative action in respect to Ontario’s energy sector via directives to both IESO and the OEB that would serve to punish ratepayers/taxpayers for fossil fuel consumption.
The alarming ones were referenced as Ministerial directives from Minister of Energy, Todd Smith, to IESO with the first related to “Clean Energy Credits” and the second to “Pathways to Decarbonization”. He also has asked the OEB to investigate options for a “New Ultra-Low Overnight Electricity Rate”.
Let’s examine the directives to IESO!
Clean Energy Credit Directive to IESO
Energy Minister Smith’s letter of direction to IESO instructed them “to provide further value for ratepayers by supporting the creation of a voluntary clean energy credit market“. That suggests he is a believer in increasing costs to consumers to eliminate “emissions”! Is he simply following orders from above?
Needless to say, IESO take instructions from the Ministry so they have commenced the process by issuing an “Engagement Plan” meant to respond to the Ministerial directive! The amusing thing about his directive is he says the objective is; “making life more affordable and I believe ratepayers can reap further value from the electricity system that they have built.“ Hard to believe requiring ratepayers to purchase Clean Energy Credits (CEC) will make “life more affordable”. It is somewhat mindboggling to research CEC values as they are all over the map in respect to prices. A somewhat dated article (January 22, 2021) about prices in the New England states show their costs as anywhere from $11.05/MWh to $233.75/MWh depending on the state involved.
Because Ontario’s electricity sector is one of the lowest emitters of CO 2 Minister Smith seems to believe we can, as an example, get an agreement to those using fossil fuels to heat our homes or running a business to purchase CEC! The revenue will then be used to reduce our costs; making “life more affordable”. It sounds too much like the Federally imposed “carbon tax” which does nothing more than increase the number of bureaucrats taxpayer’s support while increasing our cost of living! The “credit offerings” will include: “nuclear, waterpower, wind, solar and bioenergy.“ Smith’s letter doesn’t clarify; if you have solar panels on your roof will you be asked to hand out a CEC or whether you will be paid for doing so? One should suspect the various contracted parties under the FIT (feed in tariff) programs will not willingly pass those CEC’s on unless they are compensated. The other issue is by requiring those who emit CO 2 to purchase CEC means any household using natural gas as a heating source may be required to purchase those CEC. We should note those same households are already paying carbon taxes imposed by the Federal Government along with the Provincial Sales tax. CEC simply look to be a further tax increase!
One would hope the IESO point out the fallacies with the Ministerial directive and stand up for us ratepayer/taxpayers!
Pathways to Decarbonization
On October 7, 2021 IESO released a report titled “Decarbonization And Ontario’s Electricity System” which was a response to thirty (30) municipalities who had pressured the Ministry of Energy to phase out natural gas plants. IESO’s report of 27 pages outlined the cost to do that would hit ratepayers with $27 billion and raise the price of household electricity bills by $1,200 annually; an increase of 60%. Not quite what the McGuinty/Wynne led government put us through but still very significant during this high inflation period.
Despite that rather shocking news Minister Smith on the same date (October 7, 2021) as IESO’s report, issued a directive to them and it stated “I would ask that IESO evaluate a moratorium on the procurement of new natural gas generating stations and develop an achievable pathway to zero emissions in the electricity sector.” One should wonder, did he read the 27 pages of the IESO report or not equate what he was suggesting we do in Ontario with what was happening in Europe? An article just nine days before he issued the directive noted electricity prices climbing to record highs in the UK and EU countries. Renewable energy’s failure in the form of wind and solar’s absence coupled with low water levels were causing electricity prices to climb to record highs at the same time as a price spike in natural gas arrived. Anyone even casually, following the news at that time out of the UK and most other European countries would have discovered how the efforts to reach net-zero were causing both economic pain and energy poverty. Needless to say, things are much worse now and all of North America has been affected by the increase in the market prices of oil, gas and coal.
Despite the foregoing, IESO will follow Minister Smith’s directive and have commenced the “engagement process” to develop their response. One would assume the evaluation will mirror that of their earlier report and likely suggest costs will be even higher.
As the heading on this article implies, we should all be “fearful” of what the Ford government is doing as it seems set to create another sharp rise in the cost of electricity despite the fact Ontario has one of the cleanest non-emitting grids in the world.
Virtue signaling is costly so perhaps the time has come to repulse the “FEAR” and revolt!
PS: More to come.