PCs reaffirm vow to scrap Green Energy Act

An open letter from Tim Hudak today to Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli demands a halt to wind power approvals in Ontario, and a news release reaffirms the PC Party’s commitment to end the Green Energy Act.

For Immediate Release
February 19, 2014


(Queen’s Park)- Ontario PC MPPs Lisa MacLeod (Nepean-Carleton) and Lisa Thompson (Huron Bruce) offered the following statement on the PC Plan to scrap the Green Energy Act:
“Ontario PC Party under Tim Hudak maintains its commitment to scrap the Green Energy Act.
“That means we would remove subsidies on wind and solar, we would restore locally based decision making and we would implement a moratorium on developments until health and environmental impacts are assessed.  
“The Green Energy Act is disastrous for rural Ontarians who live near these intrusive developments and anyone paying a Hydro bill in Ontario is paying this $22 B boondoggle on their bills. 
“Many people like Esther Wrightman of Middlesex County are relying on us to form a government and end this bad plan. 
“The PC Party stands with Esther and everyone else negatively impacted by this disastrous plan.
“We stand with ratepayers.
“And we stand for a province that doesn’t subsidize expensive and unreliable power we don’t need at the expense of a prosperous Ontario. 
For more information contact Lisa MacLeod, 613-823-2116 or Lisa Thompson 416-325-3467

“Hydro Creep”: what Ontario’s rising electricity bills are doing

Ottawa Morning

Here from CBC Ottawa’s morning show, is a panel discussion on Ontario’s electricity bills, featuring an Ottawa area dairy farmer, the head of a business improvement association, and the head of an agency trying to help people in need.
The story is very serious and the message is clear: Ontario’s power policy is costing everyone, and the rises will keep on. Food costs, job losses, more.
Listen here:

Hydro bills draining rural institutions dry: Ottawa Citizen

St Alexander’s in Lochiel

Kelly Egan: Hydro is draining rural institutions dry


From churches to curling clubs to pools and small business, all feel the squeeze

By Kelly Egan, OTTAWA CITIZENJanuary 7 2014

Where we stay, where we play, where we pray — there’s no hiding. Hydro shocks everywhere wires flow.
Electricity costs are to rise about 42 per cent over the next five years. As this is a government guess, expect things to be worse.
We have heard how this is bad for you and me and Main Street. But what of the little churches, the seasonal curling rinks, the homeless shelters, the non-profits getting by on duct tape and donations?
In the hamlet of Lochiel, just north of Alexandria, there is a lovely old Catholic church, St. Alexandre, in a parish founded in 1851.
It is on the verge of closing, with only 30 or 40 congregants left. It has one mass per week and shares a priest with a neighbouring parish. In the winter, it is heated for about three hours a week, using a combination of electricity and gas.
In November, it paid $102 in hydro costs. In December, the bill was $221. And, just to repeat: It is open about two or three hours a week; locked up tight the rest of the time.
“I’m sure we’re double what we used to pay,” said volunteer treasurer Madeleine Theoret, also a longtime parishioner. The collection plate is not being used to save souls but to buy electrons, which is probably not the Vatican’s vision.
When you throw in the cost of heating fuel, it costs an average of roughly $50 an hour to open the old doors.
“Utilities are the lion’s share of expenses at these small churches,” said Alexandria-Cornwall diocesan accountant Tracy Cameron. “It’s what makes all the little bookkeepers cry.”
Churches with rectories have an extra problem, she said, since they were built for many clerics but now usually house only one and, old and drafty, still need to be lit and heated.
Take the Alexandria Curling Club, home to sheets and sweeps for 130 years. The hydro bill in November 2012 was $3,200. In 2013, it topped $4,000 for the same consumption.
President Ian McKay predicts the hydro bill for the next year will be about $11,000 higher than the $28,000 in the previous 12 months.

Read the full story here.

Look, Ontario: free gift cards—pay no attention to those hydro bills

Robyn Urback: Look, Ontario — free gift cards! Pay no attention to that ballooning hydro bill

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne hands out food baskets and gift certificates to Loblaws Supermarkets in Scarborough, Ontario, December 30, 2013.
Tyler Anderson/National PostOntario Premier Kathleen Wynne hands out food baskets and gift certificates to Loblaws Supermarkets in Scarborough, Ontario, December 30, 2013.

The Ontario Liberal government is like that nettlesome semi-estranged relative who is never there when you want them, and always there when you don’t. The Liberals have mastered the dodge and deflect when it comes to disasters of their own making, while at the same time making themselves readily available with a basket of root vegetables and (a TV camera) when the mess is one they didn’t actually cause. Funny, that.
Take the province’s energy plan — a disaster entirely of Liberal making — which has generally been treated with a gap-jawed shrug and a promise to do better next time. Former Premier Dalton McGuinty’s prized Green Energy Act is now in tatters and largely forsaken by his successors in Kathleen Wynne’s government. The Liberals wasted up to $1.1-billion of taxpayer dollars on the cancellation of two Ontario gas plants; a move that will add to Ontarians’ energy bills, which are set to rise by 42% over the next five years. Waste, corruption and ineptitude. Oops. Ah, well — can we talk about banning tanning beds again?

Ontario handing out $100 gift cards for Toronto families to replace food ruined during the ice storm

Power wasn’t the only thing lost in the ice storm. After days without electricity, Toronto families faced freezers of spoiled meat and expensive bills to replace ruined food.
Now, the province is giving out $200,000 worth of gift cards to help families re-stock household fridges in the city.
Ontario Premiere Kathleen Wynne announced Monday that the government partnered with Loblaw, Shoppers Drug Mart, Sobeys and Metro to raise the funds — $25,000 from each of the corporations and $100,000 from the province.
Continue reading…

Compare that to the Liberals’ response to a disaster not of their making: the recent ice storm that knocked out power for days in much of Toronto and neighbouring communities. While antagonists might claim  the crisis could have been avoided if Ontario had explored burying powering lines instead of wasting money on futile wind energy systems, most of us can agree that Wynne’s people can’t be blamed for the weather. Storms happen. Sometimes, storms cause power outages. Toronto Hydro and Hydro One employees worked tirelessly over the holidays to get electricity back to its customers, most of whom are now back online. It’s unfortunate, but it’s life.
Nonetheless, Ontario’s government decided it would — no, it must — help out families who lost money in food that went bad in their powerless fridges and freezers during the storm. “We know there’s a need and that’s why we’re asking people to help,” Wynne said at a joint press conference with grocery retailers Loblaw, Sobey’s, Metro and Shopper’s Drug Mart, each of which donated $25,000 in gift cards to help families restock. The government pledged to match the donations, meaning $200,000 in gift cards was made available at the time of the announcement (that figure was later quadrupled to meet demand). “It will not meet the entire need,” Wynne said, “but we will do our best.”

Read the full article here.

Ontario’s wacky power situation: a look back at 2013

Energy blogger Scott Luft has launched a multi-part look back at 2013 and the head-scratching facts about the electricity market in Ontario. Hear that spinning sound? It’s not the turbines of Big Becky…it’s Sir Adam (“power should be available and affordable for everyone”) spinning in his grave.

2013 Ontario Electricity Annual Review: Part 1 – Supply

In 2013 Ontario’s demand was little changed, while prices for the electricity commodity in Ontario escalated about 16%.
Analysing data from the year provides illustrations for many topics covered on this blog since inception: supply continues to grow while demand does not; excess generation is dumped on export markets far below the cost of supply to Ontarians, and the global adjustment pricing mechanism continues to become a greater component of the commodity charge even as it becomes clearer it’s largely improvised each month.

Read more here.

New York to Ontario business: we have savings on power rates!

From the Watertown Daily Times, this story.

St. Lawrence County IDA appeals to Ontario businesses with low-cost power

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The St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency is hoping to use the availability of low-cost power and other economic enhancement tools to draw in businesses from Ontario, where the price of electricity is jumping.
“In all of our inquiries with potential firms, power is an issue,” IDA Executive Director Patrick J. Kelly said. “If we bring that message to them, hopefully it becomes an item of interest.”
The potential of low-cost power opens the door to other discussions about opportunities in the county, Mr. Kelly said.
The IDA sent out mailers this month to various Ontario businesses encouraging them to expand across the border. The brochure pushes low-cost economic development power available through the New York Power Authority’s Preservation Power Program and low-cost power through the St. Lawrence River Valley Redevelopment Agency.
The IDA’s marketing strategy has not been lost in Ontario, where a recent article in the Brockville Recorder on the energy crisis noted that St. Lawrence County is contacting Canadian firms to promote electricity rates that are 50 percent less than those in Ontario, which are the highest in North America.
The IDA mailer also promotes research and collaboration with colleges, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Start-Up NY initiative to create tax-free zones, the county’s labor force, buildings and greenfield industrial sites available for use, the foreign trade zone through the Ogdensburg Commerce Park, an advanced telecommunications network, and the geographic advantage of being between Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.
Canadian businesses have long been a target market of the IDA, but the energy price hikes in Ontario raise the county’s advantages, Mr. Kelly said.
“We have significant savings if they want to expand over here,” he said.

MacLeod asks for 2nd time in a week: where is Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli?

Transparent Logo
Open Letter
Honourable Bob Chiarelli
Minister of Energy
Dear Minister,
I am writing you for the third time in seven days regarding two matters of substantial concern to Hydro users in Ontario. Your absence in the last week has been noticeable and makes me question your commitment and desire to carry out your duties and mandate. 
First, as you are aware in our Eastern Ontario region, Hydro One has initiated improper billing procedures and has threatened to cut of power during the winter for families who are unable to meet Hydro One’s unreasonable demands.  Last Friday, December 20th I requested a directive from you to Hydro One to be issued no later than Monday, December 23rd to correct Hydro One’s incompetent and dishonest billing system, however rural Eastern Ontarians are still waiting for you to display leadership.  No corrective measures have been taken. 
Secondly and more pressing are the tens of thousands of people without power in Toronto, the GTA and throughout rural Southwestern Ontario.   As hydro crews make steady progress I remain concerned that you have still not contacted Opposition MPPs whose communities are impacted by power outages. As you know, it is very important for the Government to communicate with MPPS, even from other political parties, because their constituents turn to them for information and reassurance on the Government’s resolve to return power to their homes. Many Ontarians have gone without power for almost a week, unfortunately, I have been informed by my Progressive Conservative colleagues in affected areas that neither you, nor the Premier’s office or Hydro One have initiated communication with them. This is a basic failure of communication and one that I asked you to rectify in my Tuesday, December 24th follow up letter to you.  

Minister, as I am sure you can appreciate, maintaining power and restoring power is absolutely crucial to Ontarians during the winter.   It is -10 today.   I request your immediate action and an end to your week long silence in these two most pressing energy related matters.

Lisa MacLeod, MPP
Ontario PC Energy Critic 

MacLeod demands Energy Minister act on electricity bills

This letter was sent to Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli yesterday by PC Energy Critic Lisa MacLeod, MPP for Nepean-Carleton. If you want to help, write to your MPP, and ask that he or she add his or her voice to Lisa’s, and demand justice for the citizens of Ontario. Here is the letter.

Transparent Logo
Open Letter
Minister of Energy, Bob Chiarelli

Dear Minister,

Tonight’s television and radio news broadcasts in Ottawa were a sad testament to the utter failure of this Liberal government’s energy policies.

In fact it is an indictment of a litany of energy policy failures.

Wind energy from the over zealous subsidies to the sole sourced Samsung contract for wind turbines has been a costly failure which you still hide the true costs of from the public.

The gas plant debacle and subsequent cover up whose impact is still not felt will penalize rate payers in this province for decades.

The OPG is a scandal plagued organization that has been the subject of an Auditor General’s report that resulted in universal outrage. It is only made more horrendous by the fact that
the Liberal cabinet has known about abuses here for several years and done absolutely nothing.

Now Hydro One is threatening to disconnect honest hard working Ontario families in winter ahead of Christmas because of its failures to bill in an appropriate and timely manner and to the terrible failure of so-called ‘smart meters’ which truly have been more trouble than they were worth. I could go on but won’t at this time.

This letter is meant to draw your attention to the plight of Ontario families ahead of Christmas and in the midst of a series of winter storms. If any of these Ontario families are disconnected at this time or during this winter due to the incompetence of Hydro One or the failure of its questionable systems including smart meters it would be an injustice and a tragedy for which the government will bear ultimate responsibility. The government has no one to blame but themselves. You as Minister need to act and you need to act now.

I expect by Monday you will issue a public directive to Hydro One to either clean up its act or that you will clean house. The Legislature may not be sitting but I will still continue to hold you and the Liberal government to account for your energy failures.


Lisa MacLeod, MPP
Ontario PC Energy Critic 



Ontario’s electricity costs a “freight train” says energy analysts

Here from AEGENT Energy Advisors, a commentary on the Ontario Long Term Energy Plan or LTEP.

Latest LTEP Can’t Stop the Electricity Cost Freight Train December 2013

  • One key message in the provincial government’s new Long Term Energy Plan is that projected cost increases are much lower than in the 2010 plan.
  • The essential fact about these cost increases is that they are driven mostly by the costs associated with new generation capacity coming into service that is the result of the government’s energy procurement priorities over the last several years. Virtually all of this capacity is contracted on terms that guarantee some level of above-market payments to the generator.
  • The increased costs on our electricity bills are the result of these contract terms. So if you understand the terms of these contracts then future cost increases are largely foreseeable, and for the next several years there is little that can be done to mitigate the increases.

On December 2, 2013 the Ontario Ministry of Energy released the latest Long Term Energy Plan (LTEP), entitled Achieving Balance.  The new LTEP is the first follow-up to the previous plan that was released in November 2010.  Areas addressed in the new plan include conservation, nuclear and renewable energy.
Two prominent messages in the new LTEP are that much has and will be done to mitigate costs and that projected increases are significantly lower than those forecast in 2010.  Figure 7 from the report shows the typical residential electricity bill forecast based on monthly consumption of about 800 kWh.
Read the full article here.