Missing the point of Earth Hour in Ontario

Earth Hour: cruel irony in Ontario where government policy is actually causing poverty and hardship
Earth Hour: cruel irony in Ontario where government policy is actually causing poverty and hardship

Earth Hour 2016 is tomorrow, March 19, 2016 from 8.30 PM to 9.30 PM when all the world is encouraged to turn off their lights for an hour of symbolic action. Specifically the goal is: “Earth Hour aims to encourage an interconnected global community to share the opportunities and challenges of creating a sustainable world.”

This is an admirable objective – everyone wants to do their best for the environment – but the truth is, much depends on how sustainability is positioned by politicians.

In Ontario the OEB (Ontario Energy Board) noted in a 45 page report dated December 22, 2014:  “Using LIM1. as a measuring tool, and relying on Statistics Canada household data, Ontario has 713,300 low-income households. The OESP is estimated to reach 571,000. This estimate recognizes that not all low-income households in the province pay their electricity bills directly (i.e., utilities included in rent).” That report led to the introduction of the OESP or Ontario Electricity Support Program start-up on January 1, 2016, expected to cost between $175 and $225 million, paid for by those 3.9 million households who don’t qualify for the OESP.

So did the Ontario government simply not understand creation of the Green Energy & Green Economy Act (GEA) would result in so many low-income households? It is now apparent the advent of the GEA played a major role, by raising the cost of the production of electricity by well over 70% since its enactment. The push for renewables in the form of industrial wind turbines, solar panels, etc., which require back-up from gas plants due to the intermittent and unreliable nature of renewables, added billions in costs. The transmission builds to bring wind and solar power to the grid added billions more and, coupled with the other billions spent trying to convince us to conserve, added even more costs.

The addition of almost 10,000 MW (so far) of renewable generation at prices over market impacted disposable income for all Ontarians living at, or close to, minimum wage and for many others living on fixed incomes. The other result of adding renewable power is that Ontario is now in the position of having surplus power generated at the wrong time of the year and night when demand is low. This surplus must be either sold off (exported), curtailed (wind and solar) or steamed-off (nuclear). Additionally, ratepayers and taxpayers are charged for the ideasNB: related to conservation such as paying for grants for electric vehicles and their charging stations.

March 13, 2016 is an example: it was a day when the sun shone and the wind was blowing. Ontario demand was low reaching only 320,000 megawatt hours (MWh) while generation, coupled with curtailed wind, idling gas plants, spilled hydro and even curtailed solar along with all of the distribution connected (Dx) power (principally wind and solar) was about 463,000 Mwh2.. Ontario’s ratepayers needed only 68% of that 463,000 MWh, so the other 32% was either exported or curtailed (to avoid blackouts) while being billed to Ontario ratepayers. Production costs (without the other items tossed into the “Global Adjustment pot) were over $100/per MWh, meaning the 143,000 MWh surplus picked ratepayers’ pockets for more than $14 million or $2.85 per ratepayer for just one day. (Bob Chiarelli, our Minister of Energy, would probably say that was just the cost of a “Timmies”!)

In 2015, Glen Murray, Ontario’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, said Earth Hour “Every passing year it becomes more infectious. It’s actually really doing what it intended to do, which is to get into the popular culture.”

Minister Murray should note we have turned off the lights, not because we want to but because we can’t afford to “keep them on.”

It appears to this Ontario ratepayer that what is really “infectious” is the Ontario government’s ability to create “energy poverty” for hundreds of thousands of Ontario’s households and, instead of promoting sustainability, it has instead driven many to a situation where they now have to decide whether to “heat or eat”.

Hardly the lofty goal that Earth Hour aspires to, and clearly not what well-meaning citizens wanted to happen.

©Parker Gallant,

March 17, 2016

NB: Note to Minister’s Chiarelli and Duguid: If you can afford a $100,000 Tesla automobile you can afford a charging station!

  1. LIM stands for “Low-Income Measure” per Statistics Canada.
  2. Big hat tip to Scott Luft for his great “daily reports” which go well beyond what IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator) provide.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the policies of Wind Concerns Ontario.


Moira Egan

Note that Earth Hour is a political penance of WWF, a very, very wealthy organization formed by European royalty and their New World Order bankers to ensure their continued ownership of vast tracts of land all over the globe. Greenpeace was/is its Green Police force.

If you don’t ignore it altogether, you might like to flick on all the lights and all the appliances and, during the Energy Hour, celebrate your free will and intelligence. It is okay for Man to harness Nature; it is not okay for some men to harness others and that’s the point of Earth Hour and the green policing of all aspects of our lives.


I celebrate Human Achievement Hour and turn on everything. The rest of the year, most are off due to high rates.

Grant Church

I like doing that too. Good time to turn on the washing machine. They’ll just spill water at the hydro dams if demand drops anyway.

Segue C

“Every passing year it becomes more infectious. It’s actually really doing what it intended to do, which is to get into the popular culture.”

We all know, or should know by now…, that this government lies. The Agenda21 origin of Earth Hour and assorted other “environmental” gimmicks has in fact provoked a backlash against this “green” infection.

It should be of grave concern that there are politicians of all stripes willing to promote the globalist wealth transfer and destruction of capitalism plainly spoken of by UN operatives as the objective of the CAGW war on Carbon.

Our hero Ross McKitrick has done the math, ( http://business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/ross-mckitrick-how-politicians-wrecked-the-case-for-carbon-taxes?utm_content=buffer2e481&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer )repeatedly, pointing out errors in both Climate and Economics which, were we in serious environmental peril of any sort, would be corrected immediately.

A little deductive reasoning should prompt realization that there is nothing to fear but being governed by such rogues as will destroy your prosperity and your Nation.

By all means turn off your breaker switch tomorrow tomorrow but go out and build a huge bonfire or turn on headlights and generator and salute the space station which represents a time when humans were sapient and NASA was not an embarrassment to its astronauts. http://www.therightclimatestuff.com/TRCSConclusionsRecommendations.pdf


What would happen if everyone pulled their main breakers at about the same time?

Bob Lyman

Let’s see. If we all turn off our lights, there will be a lower quantity of Ontario electricity consumption over which the regulated utilities can average their costs and, other things equal, a larger quantity of energy that has to be curtailed or exported at a loss. Consequently, the costs of the electricity supply system will rise and the utilities will apply to have these costs reflected in increased rates to (guess who?) Ontario electricity consumers. So, by turning off the lights, we collectively increase our electricity bills. This is in addition to making a meaningless bow in the direction of the false thesis that electricity consumption harms the environment. Just great.

Pat Cusack

Some great comments above! We are being manipulated right, left and centre. Don’t get me started on being forced to do mundane household chores at specific times during the day; and how about doing away with daylight saving time. What does that accomplish except to get on our nerves?


I wonder how Minister Glenn Murray can remain so out of touch with reality?The information is readily available.

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