Universities and Hospitals and many other government operations are allowed to qualify as “Class A” institutions so take advantage of the ICI program by picking peak hours to go off-grid for their electricity needs. The following “note” was found on page 7 in a study London Economics Institute did for the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters dated October 22, 2019.
“Examples of larger load customers that are not industrial (i.e. not the focus of this paper) include hospitals, large office complexes, and university campuses. The boundary for a “large” customer is generally around the 5,000 kW mark.”
In other words, if peak demand at a university or hospital reached 5 MW, they qualified to access the ICI program.
Former Minister of Energy, Bob Chiarelli, reduced the qualification to 3 MW in 2015 and then to 500 KW in 2017. The reduction expanded the number of Class A customers and would obviously allow many other government institutions such as colleges and good-sized government buildings or departments to become ICI entities. So, presumably for years, Class B ratepayers have been subsidizing numerous government institutions be they provincial or federal. Unfortunately, IESO doesn’t publish a list of Class A ratepayers so it’s impossible to know how much additional taxes we Class B ratepayers are paying to support those government entities who are beneficiaries of cheap electricity prices.
As both a ratepayer and taxpayer it doesn’t seem right government institutions get preferred rates! It allows them to suggest their budgets are lower so they can pay their professors, etc. more! They basically access after-tax dollars from Class B ratepayers who have been forced to spend additional funds to obtain electricity for their small business or to heat their homes and cook their meals.
Pretty sure York University where they crank out eco-warrior graduates via the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change (EUC) are one of those taking advantage of the ICI as several years ago, they installed two gas generators which was covered in an article your truly penned back in 2020. The article from July 2020 provided details on how York University takes advantage of the ICI program in much more detail while outlining how their Professor Mark Winfield, an eco-warrior, claims it was “the leading edge of innovation in electricity systems around the world”.
The time has come for Ontario’s Minister of Energy Todd Smith, to stop the double taxation allowed under the ICI program by simply cancelling the benefit for government related institutions. An exchange with a contact brought me the following observation from someone I have much respect for as they know the system much better than yours truly.
“The ICI program has become a government welfare system for large industrials and it undermines the emission reduction efforts of others. It should be redesigned to make sure everyone pays their appropriate share of the fixed costs of the electricity system that serves them.”
PS: Here is the link to article titled: Ontario is a Bottomless Pit for Class B Ratepayers as the ICI Demonstrates
2 thoughts on “Throw out the Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI) Program with the Garbage”