Ontario’s green energy subsidies: inflicting financial pain on captive customers
My interest in the energy sector was originally sparked by a bill from Hydro One. The information I subsequently discovered has been eye-popping: this sector preys on its captive customers. The monopolies running the sector however, are not nearly as preying as our provincial government. The damage done by the elected representatives is not as obvious as it should be; I will attempt to shed some light on how our lives, our per-capita debt and our ability to survive in a democratic society has been affected. It may be disturbing reading.
Those following my writing know that my concerns cover a lot of ground. That ground is related to what I personally view as waste and a wealth transfer founded on the as yet unproven concept of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW). The ability of the lobbyists to persuade governments to follow a certain course has burdened Ontario’s electricity customers and taxpayers with the costs of the measures promoted toward “saving the world.”
Here are some of the steps taken, with your money.
Green Energy Subsidies—some of what we know
We know industrial wind energy developers were given lucrative 20-year contracts and paid to produce electricity guaranteeing 13.5/kWh no matter the time of day power was generated.
We know that industrial wind energy developers were given 20-year contracts that included a cost of living benefit up to 20%.
We know industrial solar under the feed-in-tariff (FIT) program paid contracted parties, e.g., IKEA, the Township of Markham, etc., over 70 cents/kWh for generation, while those same companies/municipalities purchased power for their use at the same rate as the rest of us. We ordinary customers pick up the tab for the difference.
We know that the Office of the Auditor General (AG) on two different occasions clearly noted the Ontario government failed to conduct a cost/benefit analysis for just about everything associated with the Ministry of Energy’s portfolio.
We know “smart meters” cost us about $2 billion but failed to produce any meaningful benefit other than allowing local distribution companies to bill us on a time-of-use basis.
We know energy costs have doubled since 2003.
We know we are exporting well over 10% of all power generated in the province and annual revenue from the sale of this surplus is $1 billion less than the cost of production; Ontario’s electricity customers pay for that loss.
We know that we pay for “curtailed” or constrained power for wind, solar etc., and for idling gas plants surplus to our needs but which are needed to back up unreliable wind generation.
We know we pay for development of a “smart grid” which the AG recently noted fails to include data-retrieval for 800,000 smart meters.
We know we pay for steamed off nuclear power and now pay full costs for all hydro generated power as well as spillage of hydro power.
Sounds bad, and it is, but the financial pain inflicted on Ontario’s ratepayers and taxpayers actually goes much deeper. Next: we explore the depths of the negative financial effects.
February 11, 2015
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent Wind Concerns Ontario policy.