Phantom Power? Beware of Phantom messaging
The Conservation First theme of Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli‘s Long-term Energy Plan (LTEP), “Achieving Balance,” is in full swing these days as evident by the brochures that arrive in the mail, and with our (inflated) electricity bills. The various local distribution companies (LDCs) are out promoting the message where ever and whenever they can. The brochure from Toronto Hydro told me to “BBQ my meals,” have an “energy-free night” once a week, and start an “energy waster jar” and fine my kids for leaving lights on!
They also tell me to unplug electronics to avoid paying for “phantom power.”
Hydro One has a lot to say about “phantom power” and this one is particularly amusing, as they first tell you to purchase “energy efficient” appliances but later on warn you:
“ Too many clocks in the kitchen? Appliances with clocks use electricity when not in use. When purchasing new appliances, look for ones without a clock feature. As well, if you have pay-tv services, you may want to keep your cable television converter powered up at all times, otherwise you risk rebooting problems.”
These are “words of wisdom”?
So the LDC providing you with progressively more expensive electricity tells you to stop wasting that “phantom power” but have no hesitation billing you for power you don’t consume. The difference is they refer to “phantom power” as “line losses.” In the case of Toronto Hydro, you are billed for 3.76% for power you didn’t consume—for Hydro One it can be as much as 9.2%.
That “phantom power” they don’t deliver is now hidden in the “delivery” line of your bill.
Conservation? Or, hypocrisy?
© Parker Gallant
April 7, 2015