Bob Chiarelli’s hydro bill ‘double whammy’
Ontario’s energy minister blames hydro bill increases on the weather
CTV on March 12, 2015 reported “Ontario’s Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli says residents shouldbe prepared for higher-than-normal electricity bills after February’s deep freeze.” Minister Chiarelli was reported as stating: “We had a really bad winter last year, and this year is equally as bad”.
The truth? Ontario’s consumption of electricity in January and February of 2015 was less than power use in the same two months of 2014. The decline was only 3 gigawatts—from 25.7 terawatts (TWh) to 25.4 TWh—but it was down, not up!
So why should residents “be prepared for higher-than-normal” electricity bills?
It might actually have something to do with how much surplus power Ontario exported in 2015 versus 2014. In 2014 we exported 2.7 TWh in January and February; in the first two months of the current year, it was 4.4 TWh. That’s an increase of 71%.
I think Ontario ratepayers would have been OK with that if, and it’s a big if, we were selling our exports for a profit.
But, the sale price in 2014 averaged $73.14 million/TWh, and in 2015 that fell to $51.2 million/TWh. We sold more for less!
Almost $300 million in losses already in 2015
In 2014 Ontario ratepayers picked up losses on those export sales of $63.8 million, and in 2015 Ontario electricity customers, so far, have absorbed $294.8 million in export sales losses. If we keep that pace it will cost Ontario ratepayers $1.8 billion to support export sales for the current year. That is $400.00 for each and every power customer for power they don’t need, or use!
It’s strange that Mr. Chiarelli thinks “it’s the weather” rather than inane policies of this provincial government, which since it’s been in power since 2003, has taken every possible action to interfere with the electricity sector.
He also said, “We’re particularly concerned about families, low-income families and the pressures that puts on them…And it’s a double-whammy if they have electric heat.”
Wind power rates above normal
If the government is truly “concerned about families” why have they contracted with wind and solar generators to pay rates wildly above comparable utility rates, and contracted for excess power we now export at a huge cost, and back them up with gas plants? Now that‘s a “double-whammy”!
The real reason Ontario will see much higher bills in the coming months is because of the Ontario government, not the weather!
©Parker Gallant March 19, 2015
Note the views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent Wind Concerns Ontario policy.