More wind and solar do nothing to reduce emissions: cancel the contracts!

October 3, 2016

Cancel these contracts too, Minister Thibeault

flatline

Ontario’s ratepayers have heard for years the reason we are increasing our renewable energy supply in the form of industrial wind turbines (IWTs), solar panels and biomass is because we need to reduce our CO2 emissions.  It now appears that we have reached the point of no return as the 2nd Quarter Ontario Energy Report is now out and on page 8 is a chart that suggests we have flat-lined!

The chart shows our CO2 emissions for 2014 and 2015 were 7 mega-tonnes and for the first 6 months of 2016 are 3 mega-tonnes (probably heading for another 7).  It now appears more wind or solar added to the Ontario electricity grid will do nothing to further reduce our emissions.  That begs the question: why do we continue to add unreliable and intermittent power coming from those two sources as the only thing they now do is increase the price of electricity.

According to Environment Canada Ontario’s CO 2 emissions in 2014 were 170.2 mega-tonnes and the Ontario Energy Report (page 8) claims the “electricity sector” in the Province was responsible for only 7 of those mega-tonnes in 2014 therefore representing only 4.1% of total emissions.

The recent Throne Speech of September 12, 2016 included the following:

“Over the course of the past decade, Ontario electricity ratepayers have helped cover the costs associated with removing dirty coal-fired generation from our electricity system. And while these investments have resulted in increased costs associated with generation, they have also created savings of more than $4 billion a year in health and other costs associated with smog and pollution from coal-fired generation.”

Now if I was extrapolating the above claim by the Ontario government I would wonder: if 4.1% of those emissions cost the Health Ministry $4 billion annually, how much do the remaining 166.1 mega-tonnes cost? Based on the above claim the 7 mega-tonnes are supposedly costing taxpayers about $565 million per mega-tonne annually. That means the full cost of the CO2 emissions of the 166.1 mega-tonnes would be north of $95 billion and almost 71% of all of the 2016/17 planned budget expenditures.

If that is true, perhaps it’s time the government focused their CO2 reduction efforts on the segment producing the 166.1 mega-tonnes rather than the electricity ratepayers.  If that were to happen Minister Thibeault would be in a position to do some cancelling (not suspending) of renewable energy projects aimed at continuing the efforts to further reduce future rate increases.

We would recommend Minister Thibeault immediately cancel the LRP I contracts which have not been finalized which would affect 300 MW of industrial wind, and cancel all the projects listed on the IESO chart [below] which show just over 1,000 MW of contracted industrial wind projects not in compliance with their contracted operational dates.

Those cancellations would reduce future rate increases per average household by $8.00 per month or almost $100.00 over a year saving ratepayers well over $400 million annually and $8 billion over the 20 years of the contracts.

Now that would give you some firm bragging rights.

Parker Gallant

iesochartjune2016

The Premier’s mandate letters (2): why bills are rising so fast

September 28, 2016

More proof of why Ontario’s electricity bills are rising the fastest in North America

Ontario Energy Minister Thibeault has been the centre of media attention over the past several days for his announcement we will save $2.45 every month because he has “suspended” the Large Renewable Procurement process or LRPII, the result of a directive issued by former Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli to acquire 600 megawatts (MW) of wind and 300 MW of solar capacity.

Premier Wynne’s mandate letter to Minister Thibeault contained directions which were previously tied to a press release issued by his Ministry related to building transmission lines to service First Nations communities. The news release dated July 29, 2016 announced: “Ontario has selected Wataynikaneyap Power LP (Watay) to connect 16 remote First Nation communities that currently rely on diesel power to the province’s electricity grid.”

No mention was made about the cost of the project, only that it would create “over 680 jobs” and “save $1 billion over the life of the project” compared to the “use of costly diesel fuel”.   It was subsequently  reported the project was a $1.4 billion dollar build and would service 10,000 people in those 16 communities and save $43 million in annual diesel costs.  In simple terms that works out to be $140,000 per person and a 32.5 year payback.  I am not sure how the government got to the idea of saving “$1 billion over the life of the project.”

To reinforce the Minister’s earlier press release we must presume these extracts from the Premier’s mandate letter are related: “Working within the principles of the recent Political Accord, and upholding commitments to First Nation and Métis communities, to support and participate in new generation and transmission projects, and in conservation and community energy planning initiatives.” And “Expanding transmission to remote First Nation communities in Northwestern Ontario to reduce reliance on diesel-powered generation.” And, “Continuing negotiations with the federal government to secure a fair cost sharing arrangement in support of the remote communities grid connection project.”

Those comments Ontario is moving ahead with the project while counting on the federal government to kick in money. No matter the outcome of  Minister Thibeault’s negotiations with the federal government, it certainly appears it will be up to the province to supply the lion’s share of the $1.4 billion. What does that mean? Ontario’s electricity ratepayers will pick up the costs.

It is ironic that the Province is committed to the transmission build but not to building a road to the “ring of fire” estimated to only cost $550 million according to a joint study by Provincial/Federal officials and reported in the Globe and Mail.  The road would actually create both investments and jobs for the same First Nations communities and presumably allow cheaper construction of transmission lines while generating new taxes.

The actions of the Provincial government continue to remind me of the recent Cadillac ads which show the car moving forward but everything else in the ad moving backwards.

The time has come for Ontario to move forward with some common sense planning.

Parker Gallant

The Ontario government’s about face

September 21, 2016

Recent events in Ontario present an interesting way of looking at things. First was a request from the Ontario government (It looks like a petition) aimed at getting voters “to support lower hydro bills for Ontarians.”  The request is also being supported by letters written by Liberal MPPs addressed to “Dear friends” followed by, “I am pleased to share with you that our government has announced important action to reduce the cost of electricity bills for families and businesses, in addition to reducing northern, rural and remote bills even more.”

The immediate reaction is, hey, weren’t you the energy ministers, and their leaders Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne the ones that increased the rates in the first place? And didn’t you do this via the Green Energy Act (GEA)? Didn’t you issue more than 100 directives to the Ontario Power Authority (now merged with IESO), the OEB, Hydro One, IESO and OPG telling them what to do?

So why the about face? Unless it is meant to place the blame on all those foregoing entities when the truth is, oppressive management and the GEA decreed how the bureaucrats should behave while removing democratic rights from municipalities.

The second event that caught my attention was the proroguing of the Legislature so Premier Wynne could present her case for how to resolve the energy “crisis.” (Never mind her recently appointed Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault denied it was a crisis in a recent interview with Shirlee Engel of Global TV.)

Minister Glenn Thibeault’s current behavior is interesting. Several years ago when he was Executive Director of the United Way of Sudbury he said this about poverty in Ontario:  “Every year, right before school starts, our phone at the United Way office starts ringing off the hook.We have mothers and fathers calling us, some crying, as they need to decide whether to buy food or buy a backpack and school supplies for their child. That isn’t right and I’m glad our donors and many of our community partners have stepped up to the plate so we can help a few hundred children.”

Now here we are with families having to choose whether to buy food or heat their homes, and former NDP, former United Way exec Thibeault is the Minister of Energy. I’m sure he has heard cries from mothers, fathers and seniors about energy unaffordability since he commenced drinking from the “fire-hose” he suggested is the Ministry of Energy portfolio during his interview with Global TV.

So why is he not speaking up now for the poor?

Parker Gallant

How to reduce Ontario electricity bills with a minimum of pain

Much has been written recently about what’s wrong with Ontario’s electricity sector and the rising costs of a “necessity of life” to most Ontarians.   The pundits have generally failed, however, to offer a solution. The criticisms correctly point out the mistakes that have been made, including the Green Energy Act and the goal to cleanse Ontario of coal power generation. The result has taken a toll on our pocketbooks and Ontario’s attractiveness as a place to invest in. We now see a sizable increase in people living in “energy poverty.”

I will offer the Ontario Liberal government options that could alleviate rising electricity bills, with little impact on the budget deficit. As some of my suggestions/recommendations impact ministries other than Energy, it may be important for the government to review ministerial responsibilities.

  1. Reduce the Water Fuel Tax imposed on OPG’s hydroelectric units. This fuel tax is applied to both hydro generation and to spilled water (i.e., water not run through turbines). Reducing the tax would generate increased earnings by OPG mitigating further applications for increased revenue via Ontario Energy Board application for rate increases and should generate additional PIL (payments in lieu of taxes). It should reflect itself as a “net-zero” cost to the treasury but mitigate rate increases.   I recommend the fuel charge be reduced by 50% or approximately $170 million annually, based on 2015 fuel charges levied on OPG of $345 million. If applied to residential ratepayers their bills should drop about $40 annually for the average ratepayer.
  2. Move the Ontario Electricity Support Program or OESP: this was created to support low income households and commenced January 1, 2016. The estimated cost of the program was in the $200-million range and required both a staffing increase and advertising budget that will partially consume the budget. The program is funded by other ratepayers via the Global Adjustment pot, reflecting in increasing electricity costs. The program rightly belongs with the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services who have existing relationships with funding agencies such as the United Way and could easily accommodate the program as they do for LEAP (low-income energy assistance program). That would help reduce administration costs and place the program where it would be more effective. Cost savings for ratepayers would be $200 million, but would presumably increase the budget of the Ministry of Community and Social Services by only $180 million. Moving this program to where it belongs would drop the average residential bill by approximately $44 annually
  3. As noted in my letter of August 16, 2016 to Energy Minister Glen Thibeault I suggested a tax on wind generation due to two factors: wind turbines frequently provide electricity at times when it’s not needed and developers are paid above market rates and also for curtailment.   Taxing wind is a concept that could generate $150/$200 million annually (based on generation for the first six months of 2016 and a tax levied per megawatt hour [MWh]). The proposed tax could cost the owners of the wind developments $200 million or more, and reduce annual residential bills by $45.
  4. One of the easiest ways to mitigate future rate increases would be to cancel all of the 400 MW of older wind power contracts that have passed their key contract dates. That would save future rate increases over 20 years, from the addition of $3 billion to hydro bills. Future increases would be reduced by $35 annually
  5. Cancel the LRP II (large renewable procurement) immediately: the 600 MW of wind it seeks is not needed and would add annual costs (estimated) of $200 million and almost $4 billion to future electricity bills. The 300 MW of contracts handed out under LRP I should also be canceled and would save ratepayers another $100 million (estimated) per annum and $2 billion over 20 years.   Cancelling the 900 MW would mitigate future rate increases on the average residential bill by about $65 annually.
  6. Cancel 1,300 MW of wind power (600 MW of new + 300 MW from LRP 1 + 400 MW of projects past their key contract dates) would result in less steaming off of power from Bruce Nuclear.  IESO reported this occurred 472 times in 2015 and represented 897 GWh at a cost of about $60 million. Avoiding that would have meant an annual saving per average residential ratepayer of $15.
  7. Cut back surplus power generation: Cancelling the 1,300 MW of wind capacity would considerably slow the generation of “surplus” power meaning less water spillage of hydro (3.4 TWh) by OPG which cost ratepayers about $150 million in 2015, and resulted in an annual cost per average residential ratepayer of about $30.
  8. Should surplus generation flatten or reduce because of the cancellation of the 1,300 MW of wind capacity it would affect the market price (Hourly Ontario Energy Price or HOEP) favourably reducing subsidies. If the HOEP price increased, say, $20/MWh, it would reduce subsidies and generate additional revenue of $450 million (based on 2015 exports) and reduce average residential electricity bills annually by $100.
  9. Cancel spending on conservation: save more than $400 million a year on TV ads and mailers. Most ratepayers know if we conserve more it causes electricity bills to rise as happened with the recent rate increase announced by the OEB in April 2016. A halt in conservation spending would translate to annual savings per ratepayer of almost $90.
  10. Negotiating “Net Zero” wage settlements provided the Power Workers Union and the Society of Energy Professionals at Hydro One and OPG a wage settlement handing them a lump sum payment for the first two years of their contracts and annual awards of Hydro One shares equal to 2.7% of their wages. The annual awards of Hydro One shares alone will extract the value from their sale that should have gone to the province for “infrastructure” spending or deficit reduction. The value of the “Net Zero” contracts was approximately $250 million. The next contract should be “Zero” and would annually save residential ratepayer about $55.

TOTAL potential savings for the “average” Ontario electricity ratepayer? $519 per year

If the Wynne government undertook these actions, immediate ratepayer relief would be approximately $265.00 annually, and mitigate future rate increases by $220.00 annually.   The PST could have been left on ratepayers’ electricity bills reducing the immediate relief to $135.00. The foregoing would have a marginal effect on annual Provincial revenue reducing the borrowing needs from $1.3 billion to less than $300 million to cover the costs of the OESP shift to the Ministry of Community and Social Services and the marginal drop in the water tax payments from OPG.

Why hasn’t the government done these things? Maybe it’s just easier to transfer $1.3 billion in costs to Ontario’s taxpayers. Or maybe promises were made to those who lobbied the Premier and some of her ministers at special access fund-raising events.

Time will tell.

Parker Gallant

September 18, 2016

 

 

Wynne government ‘rebate’ just a finger in the dike for electricity costs

September 14, 2016

Global TV News reported how Ontario Premier Wynne heard the cries from rural communities about the high cost of electricity and how they affect people’s living standards. Premier Wynne said: “One of the things that we heard most consistently was hydro rates. I heard about electricity rates in the north. It is not something that is isolated in one riding in Toronto. This is a concern across the province. I recognize that.” 

“It’s an urgent issue for the minister of energy,” the premier also said, adding that her government will look at “further mitigationsto offset the high cost of electricity in the province. 

The Throne Speech of September 12, 2016 disclosed what those “further mitigations” are to be — they are a “finger in the dike” approach to stopping climbing electricity rates.

Specifically what the Throne Speech suggested was: the provincial portion of the HST on all residential electricity bills will be rescinded and a direct credit will appear on electricity bills each month advising us what the credit was. This action was described in a press release from Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault as: “Reducing Ontario residential electricity bills by 8 per cent on the amount before tax, an average savings of about $130 annually or $11 each month”.

The next major action proposed in the press release indicated rural customers experiencing well above “average” electricity bills will be helped by a 20% “on-bill” monthly savings credit: “Providing eligible rural ratepayers with additional relief, decreasing total electricity bills by an average of $540 a year or $45 each month”. No mention of when that might occur. And, no definition of what an “eligible” rural ratepayer is.

The third action says “commercial and industrial” customers will benefit from lower electricity costs via a reduction in qualifications to enter the “Class A” rate class. This is suggested to reflect in substantial rate decreases of as much as 34%: “Empowering businesses to reduce their bill by up to 34 per cent through the expansion of the Industrial Conservation Initiative”.

Presumably the above three actions are supposed to comfort Ontario’s ratepayers in the knowledge that Premier Wynne and her Energy Minister have not only recognized the problems created by rising electricity prices, but will do something about stopping it.

Let’s see.

  1. Provincial Sales Tax Rebate: moving the burden around The first action of removing the Provincial Sales Tax portion of the bill was originally placed there by the Ontario Liberal Party (OLP) in 2010. Later they offset it by granting ratepayers a 10% credit via the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit (OCEB) so those two actions reduced the bill by 2% temporarily; the OCEB ended January 1, 2016.   Now they claim the rebate of 8% will save the average residential ratepayer $11.00 per month commencing January 1, 2017 which, coincidentally, is when the new tax for the cap and trade plan will kick in and hit the average ratepayer heating with gas with a $5.00 monthly tax. In short, the net gain will be $6.00 per month. Note the two most recent rate increases (Nov. 1, 2015 & May 1, 2016) hit the “average” ratepayer $8.00 per month for the electricity line only.
  2. Rural ratepayer relief; who gets it? Who pays? The second action they suggest will occur will supposedly “relieve eligible rural ratepayers” of $45.00 each month but the press release does not define “eligible”. We should suspect that to be eligible the rural ratepayer will have to qualify for the rebate and the inference is that it will be related to household income under the Ontario Electricity Support Program or OESP. If that is what is planned the Ontario Energy Board’s estimated cost of the OESP will easily surpass their estimate of $200 million per annum. The OESP is a part of the GA (Global Adjustment) bill all of the non-eligible ratepayers pay for, so any increase via the “rural relief” proffered in the Throne Speech will increase hydro bills. Logically their funding should be from the Ministry of Community and Social Services budget.
  3. Class B to Class A transfer: more energy poverty will resultThe ICI (Industrial Conservation Initiative) was initially established in 2011and transfers a portion of the GA from Class A to Class B ratepayer subject to the Class A ratepayers agreement to curtail their demand during peak hours. In the first six months of 2016 the extra portion of the GA picked up by Class B ratepayers was $495 million or about 3.6 cents per kilowatt hour of the 13.83 TWh (terawatts) consumed by Class A ratepayers. Increasing the number of Class A eligible clients will increase the amount being absorbed by the remaining Class B ratepayers. It will simply create more energy poverty. Once again neither the Throne Speech or the press release notes when the implementation of this will occur.

The end results of the “mitigations”

What the Wynne government plan likely means is that rate relief for residential ratepayers will be short lived, if at all, as the cap and trade costs and the increased costs of the OESP and the Class B to Class A transfers click in. The “finger in the dike” announcement from the Throne Speech will be short lived and residential ratepayers should expect the flood of rate increases to reappear in the very near future.

Parker Gallant                                                                                                                                        

NEXT: Some of the ways the government could immediately reduce the current costs of electricity and also reduce any future rate increases.

 

 

Hydro bill assistance programs not enough

Here is a link to an interview I did with CBC radio host and journalist Jason Turnbull on “Up North.” This interview followed Jason’s interview with Ontario Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault in which the minister, among other not quite accurate statements, said that government assistance programs should help people cope with Ontario’s rising electricity bills.

Listen here.

Ontario’s present and future lashed by electricity bills

Building Ontario Up

“Building Ontario Up” — a PR slogan doomed to failure

August 21, 2016

On July 18th Premier Kathleen Wynne bragged about Ontario’s  2016 first quarter GDP growth outpacing Canada, the U.S. and all other G7 countries via news release.  The Premier said,  “Our economic plan is working, and we are building a strong and prosperous future for our province.”

Three weeks later, StatsCan announced Ontario suffered job losses in July of 36,100 — almost 19,000 of them were full-time jobs.  In fact, Ontario’s job losses exceeded total job losses in Canada of 31,200 net jobs.  Needless to say, that didn’t merit a news release from the Premier’s office or Finance Minister Sousa either, about how the Ontario Liberal government might not be “building Ontario up”.

The StatsCan announcement also didn’t signal a change in Ontario’s unemployment rate which is mired at 6.4%. Compare that to the U.S. unemployment rate (June 2016) of 4.9%, or New York’s at 4.7%, and Michigan’s at 4.6%.

Why New York and Michigan love Ontario: cheap power

New York and Michigan are the two neighbours who are the major beneficiaries of Ontario’s management of its electricity system. In 2015, we exported 8,571 gigawatts (GWh) to New York and 10,248 GWh to Michigan at an average price of 2.36 cents per kilowatt hour (US $1.82 cents/kWh). Those sales generated revenue of $444 million but cost Ontario ratepayers $2.3 billion. The loss on those exports of almost $1.9 billion was included on our hydro bills.

That 18,819 GWh of power sold at huge costs to Ontario ratepayers. Here are the facts.

  • The power sold at a loss was enough to have supplied 2 million “average”1. residential ratepayers with power for a year
  • The losses on those exports could have paid the “Total dollar amount of arrears for eligible low income customer accounts in arrears at year end” December 31, 2015 for 146 years
  • The “total dollar amount ($172.6 million) of arrears for residential customer accounts in arrears at year end” could have been paid over 11 times
  • The “total dollar amount ($106 million) of arrears for Hydro One residential customer accounts in arrears at year end” could have been paid over 18 times
  • The power sold represented enough money2. to cover the full annual cost of 766,000 Hydro One, low-density “average” ratepayers

It is impossible to know what the generation sources were for the exported power, but with combined wind (10,765 GWh) and solar (3,026 GWh) generation representing 13,791 GWh in 2015, one must assume a lot of wind and solar power traveled to New York and Michigan. Evidence of that was highlighted in a recent study from the Canadian Nuclear Association: “Wind makes up 34% of the provincial night time surplus.”

Without those surplus exports, one could assume the Hourly Ontario Energy Price or HOEP would have been higher in that trading market, resulting in reduced costs to Ontario’s ratepayers.

Looking back to 2009 at the posted OEB average electricity price at the end of that year (6.07 cents/kWh) and comparing it with the average electricity price at the end of 2015 (10.70 cents/kWh), the annual increase was 12%.

It is worth noting that distribution rates have also increased as much (or more) for some distributors such as Hydro One.

If one examines U.S. residential electricity prices, we find the average all-inclusive (generation, transmission, delivery, state taxes) price in the U.S. at the end of 2009 was 9.82 cents/kWh and at the end of 2015 had increased to 12.67/kWh for residential clients. This suggests the average annual increase in the all-in price of electricity in the U.S. was 4.8% annually versus the Ontario 12% increase for just the “electricity” line.

Ontario has managed to raise the price of the raw commodity (electricity) almost three times faster than the U.S. has increased all-in rates.

It’s costing us a fortune, so —let’s buy more!

What does Ontario plan to do? The government continues to push ahead with their agenda to acquire more unreliable and intermittent wind and solar generation, with a new bid process beginning in 2017. That’s in spite of pricing Ontario out of the market to attract new industry, and creating “energy poverty” that now affects 12.4% (566,902 as reported by the OEB) of ratepayers. Many were in arrears on their electricity bills at the end of 2015.

 

Recently appointed Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault told Shirley Engel of Global TV News “I’m not using the word crisis” when asked about the massive response of emails and phone calls to Global following stories on painful electricity bills in Ontario.  Global was successful in getting the OEB to release the “arrears” statistics mentioned above.  In the “Backgrounder” to the release of those statistics, the OEB opened with this statement: “The Ontario Energy Board is the regulator responsible for protecting energy consumers in Ontario.”

Why has the OEB failed to protect energy consumers, in essence failing to do its job? You would be obliged to point the finger at the Ontario Liberal government for its their passing the Green Energy Act, and the more than 100 directives given to the Ontario Power Authority (merged with IESO January 1, 2015), IESO, Hydro One, OPG and the OEB by past and present Energy Ministers going back to Dwight Duncan.

Premier McGuinty and now Premier Wynne believe they know far more than the people running those organizations and have ensured their dictates are followed.

“Building Ontario up” is a PR slogan. Its realization is condemned to failure, mostly because of the damage done to a province that once could claim some of the cheapest electricity rates. With the most expensive electricity rates in North America now, the only thing the Ontario Liberal government can claim they are “building up” are the number of ratepayers living in energy poverty.

Parker Gallant

1.The OEB defines an average residential ratepayer as one consuming 750 kilowatt hours (kWh) per month.

2.The OEB’s “Bill Calculator” tells you the monthly cost is $206.64 so annually it is $2,479.68.

How to get electricity bills down: letter to Ontario’s Energy Minister (2)

Parker Gallant

August 16, 2016

OPEN LETTER TO:

The Honourable Glen Thibeault, Minister of Energy,

Legislative Building, Queen’s Park, Toronto ON, M7A 1A1

Dear Minister Thibeault:

Re: Taxing the wind

While I have not as yet received a response to my letter to you of July 17, 2016 I recognize that you are probably still trying to digest the complexities of your portfolio before responding so I will be patient.

I have just read an interesting article1. about the State of Wyoming and specifically the state legislature who asked the question: “who owns the wind?” and I just had to send you my suggestion based on what they have done to increase their tax base.

Well as it turns out the state legislature answered the question quickly and claim ownership of the wind in their state. Wyoming’s lawmakers quickly enacted legislation levying a tax on a per megawatt hour (MWh) basis at $1 per MWh but are looking at increasing it to $12.00/MWh.

It seems to me this is an opportunity for you to do two things! The first is to increase tax revenue and the second would be to use the increased tax revenue to defray future rate increases.

Recognizing that Ontario is far more generous with the long term wind and solar contracts than the U.S. state governments’ my recommendations would be to simply levy the tax as a percentage of the contract price and/or the curtailment price. I would suggest a 10% tax for delivered MWh and a 15% tax for curtailed generation. The latter is based on the fact that wind generated electricity is often only available when its not needed so the higher suggested tax rate.

Just looking at the first six months of the current year I see it shaping up as follows:

  1. Delivered MWh were 4,581,770 according to IESO and at say $13.50/MWh would generate tax of $61.2 million.
  2. Curtailed MWh from wind developments in the 1st 6 months of the current year were 1,234,000 and at 15% of $120.00/MWh (estimated) would generate $22.4 million.Together the two could generate tax revenue of approximately $165 million annually and if applied to the average ratepayer bill would reduce it by about $37.00 annually.

Now if you applied a tax to solar generation (perhaps the 15% rate) you would generate additional tax revenue of $210 million2. and that could reduce residential ratepayers bills by an additional $47.00 annually.

The latter would entail the Ontario legislation claiming they own the sunlight reaching the province allowing that generation but it doesn’t seem like a major obstacle.

The Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Glen Murray has basically claimed the ability to tax carbon emissions (even though they may be emitted by transport trucks, etc. licensed elsewhere using Ontario’s highways) so if he can do it so can you!

Alternatively you could simply do what the State of Nevada did as noted in the same article referenced above which claims: “the Nevada Public Utilities Commission (PUC) voted unanimously to increase a monthly fee on solar customers by 40% while reducing the amount they get paid for excess power sold to the grid.

Good luck and I look forward to your response to my original letter in due course. I do hope you will take my letter seriously as I know you have been inundated with numerous complaints about the rising costs of electricity in the province since you have assumed the “energy” portfolio.

Yours truly,

Parker Gallant

  1. Link to the article is here: http://www.activistpost.com/2016/08/state-now-claims-owns-wind-taxing-renewable-energy-existence.html]
  2. This assumes an average rate of $448.00/MWh or 44.8 cents a kilowatt hour for all solar contracts.