Stop digging the hole, utility company tells Wynne
Niagara On The Lake Hydro sent an open letter to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, outlining the steps the government needs to take to get costs down, and halt the unsustainable rise of electricity costs. “When you are in a hole,” President Tim Curtis said, “the best thing is to stop digging.”
The news release and letter can be read here and an excerpt follows.
There are concrete actions that can be taken both immediately and in the medium term to reduce the cost of electricity or slow down the increase. NOTL Hydro has the lowest delivery charge in the Niagara region not because of anything special we have done but because of a fifteen year focus on managing the business to keep costs low for our customers. This focus can be replicated at the Provincial level. The chart above shows that the driver of the increase in costs is generally not at the municipal LDC nor transmission level (both in line with inflation) but at the generation level.
Immediate actions include:
- Announce that you will stop immediately signing any FIT and MicroFit contracts and move as soon as possible to net metering. This will prevent encumbering the system with more expensive contracts. As you are moving to net metering you are not repudiating your climate action plan but accelerating the move to its next phase. As a sign of our commitment, if you announce this by the end of September 2016 we will cancel our FIT contract.
- Eliminate the MDM/R branch of the IESO and their activities. This branch collects the smart meter data and all their activities are redundant as are duplicated by the local distribution companies who need the information for billing. If you announce you are eliminating this cost you can also announce you will be removing the $0.79 monthly charge on every customer’s bill. While not a large amount this would be a symbolic gesture of the new direction.
- Recognize that the earlier FIT and MicroFIT contracts were overpriced and transfer the excess cost to the OEFC. While this will increase the debt of the Province it will also reduce the cost of electricity which is needed to sustain jobs and keep Ontario competitive.
- Meet with industrial business representatives such as in the steel industry to develop plans that mitigate the impact time of use pricing is having on the drivers of our economy. This needs to be done in a manner that does not just transfer the cost to residential customers.
See the full letter for more actions suggested by Niagara On The Lake Hydro.