Parker Gallant on Ontario energy ministers: wish there was an app to turn them off!

Great invention guys: the price tag is a little high but we'll find the money ... somewhere
Great invention guys: the price tag is a little high but we’ll find the money … somewhere

Turning Liberal Energy Ministers off!  Wish there was an app for that!

A September 4th article in the Ottawa Sun was another announcement from Energy Minister,  Bob Chiarelli, telling us about a new device “for consumers to save money and conserve energy”.  This  “test” for a new software application tracks movement from room to room (motion sensors) to shut off the vent(s)/registers in the room you left and turn on those in the room you enter.

According to the company, the device could cost an average of $1,400 per home noting but “a government rebate and mass production of the product might reduce the price.

Gee, I wonder who will pick up the tab for that “government rebate” the company wants?

Minister Chiarelli will the device will  result in “Savings of eight to 10 per cent per month would be passed onto homeowners, although it is so far a “conservative estimate.”

The Sun article stated that “the average monthly bill for Hydro Ottawa customers on time-of-use rates in 2012 was $114.19” so the 10% savings would amount to $11.42 per month or $137.04 annually, meaning the device would be paid for in slightly over 10 years.  Those off/on  register sensors will be installed by HVAC companies and are battery-operated—were those two additional costs factored in?

The device will be installed and tested in 35 homes thanks to a $182,000 ($5,200 per home) grant from the OPA (Ontario Power Authority) funded by all Ontario ratepayers.

If the 8% to 10% savings sounds enticing, you likely live in a very large house with only a couple of occupants. In other words, you are not an “average” electricity consumer using 800 kilowatts per month!  The proposed government grant paid for by “average” ratepayers shouldn’t be subsidizing the affluent!

Ratepayers: picking up the costs

Those “average” ratepayers are already picking up the costs of the Green Energy Act, subsidizing wind and solar generation, paying for gas plant moves, paying gas generators to idle turbines, paying for our neighbours New York, Michigan and Quebec to purchase subsidized electricity, paying for smart meters that Hydro One have messed up, paying for the Ombudsman to investigate Hydro One’s billing system, paying for wind and solar generators to not produce power, paying for meteorological stations at wind generation locations, paying for development of a “smart grid,” paying for lawyers at the MoE (Ministry of the Environment) to fight “average” ratepayers at Environmental Review Tribunals, paying local distribution companies to compensate them for reduced revenue because we conserved energy, paying for the OPA multimedia ads telling us to conserve energy, paying subsidies to convert incandescent street lights to LED bulbs for municipalities and now, paying for the OPA to provide grants of $5,200 per household to test a product “average” ratepayers will be unable to afford.

The OPA’s conservation budget of $483 million for 2014 has found yet another way to punish the “average” ratepayer, driving more of us into “energy poverty.”   Don’t we already do our laundry on weekends, eat after 7 PM, set our air conditioners higher, our furnace lower and turn off the lights when we leave a room—all to “save money and conserve energy”?

The article in the Sun also carried this quote from the minister: “The whole electricity sector is being invaded by software and information technology in almost every aspect of it and it’s actually revolutionizing how the electricity system is working.”

The revolution Minister Chiarelli refers to, is perpetuating the myth that we can afford to “’save more” energy.   The Ottawa Sun article noted “household consumption of residential electricity has declined around 14% over the last decade”.  The decline is due to the 100-plus % increase in costs to “average” ratepayers!  In the 11 years of Liberal rule we have suffered through 10 ministerial appointments to this portfolio (two each for Duncan, Phillips and Chiarelli); all had a hand in making Ontario one of the most expensive jurisdictions in North America for electricity costs.

What the province desperately needs is an “app” for the “average” ratepayer to stop energy ministers from their need to spend ratepayer dollars to tell us to conserve when we are already doing exactly that!

Voters had that “app” June 12, 2014, but they didn’t use it!

Parker Gallant,

September 9, 2014

The opinions expressed are those of the author



Louise Morfitt Hall

I believe that 8 – 10% savings per month is a “Liberal” estimate.
Gee Minister Bob I can hardly wait to see what comes out of your sleeve next.


Wouldn’t want to run around the house too fast…………..vents opening and shutting every couple of seconds…………..sounds like Bob isn’t really thinking this one through eh?………………..I guess you could tell the kids they can’t leave the room unless they want to stay in the other room for an hour or two……………………..what a dipstick!……..and these people say they are capable of handling our money????


From this I assume we are talking about an Electric Furnace – does anyone still have one of these “dollar eaters”. Try changing over to natural gas or propane you’ll save a hell of a lot more than this stupidity will.


You can get the same effect by closing the door to the room as you leave and making sure the air in the room cannot escape under the door etc.A $5.00 door draft stop will do the trick.As the air cannot now circulate out of the room it will pressurize and the warm air will not enter the room via the ducts –
Many years ago we moved into a new house- the one bedroom was always cold even with two hot air ducts.I noticed this was only when the door was closed and the bottom of the door rubbed on the carpet – I took about an inch of the bottom of the door to allow the cold air to circulate out and the warm air to replace the cold air – problem solved with basic physics.

Pat Cusack

You have got to be kidding! Fire the lot of them!


Omg how did idiots like this make it this far??
So bob do we contain the pets and kids!?

And btw I had a prob with my propane use,
I had a new furnace and went through a ton of propane and didn’t understand why. So I had
A propane guy out. He told me that by me closing my vents to the rms I wasn’t using, I was actually creating cold spots in my home forcing my furnace to work harder.

I had been doing it all wrong in trying to ” concerve” as propane bills hit $1200 a month,
My family was freezing and broke!

I did what he said and boom no more issues, my house temp regulated no more cold spots and my propane use went 3 times longer!

So bob kiss your idea goodbye and stay the heck out of my home!!!

Just Imagine

Chiarelli has to be on crack or gone totally insane. I wonder if he ever reviews the crap he spreads around. Does he really think we are looking for ways to increase our already insanely high energy bills…of course we aren’t…. we have to conserve in order to put food on the table. Bob should find a way to charge extra high rates for the energy wasted in lighting up our cities. Just fly over Toronto….can you imagine what a cut of 50 percent of the electricity being wasted by signage alone in Ontario’s ten largest cities. Come on Bob…. open your mind to some thoughts like this instead of trying to find another costly approach. Wonder if he has family money in the software companies?


These motion sensors are just another means of conditioning people to accept electricity rationing. A.K.A. as demand side management.

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