Ontario Energy Board hides real reason for rate increases

Costs not being revealed...
Costs not being revealed…

The OEB hides the truth on rate increases
The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) reported their semi-annual bad news via the News Release that always contains depressing announcements about upcoming rate increases.   Couched in words meant to assuage the reader, is this statement: “The price is increasing by approximately $4.42 per month on the ‘Electricity’ line, and about 3.4% on the total bill, for a household that consumes 800 kWh per month.”
The OEB doesn’t issue a press release when your local distribution company increases their rates, part of the “total bill,” so that reference is meaningless.
If you look at the actual price rise from November 1, 2014 to November 1, 2015 the increase is considerably more than 3.4%.   In fact the increase on the charge for the “Electricity” line is 12.8% excluding the HST applied on that increase.   The charge for electricity for the “household that consumes 800 kWh per month” increased by a total of $130.31, not the $53.04 that the OEB infers.   Even using the “average” RPP (regulated price plan) posted on their site and comparing November 1, 2014 to November 1, 2015, you get an increase of 12.5%!

Costs from renewables are one-third of the increase

Looking further that what’s in the OEB News Release, we find that they attribute the increase as follows: “Increased costs from Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) nuclear and hydro-electric power plants make up about 40% of this increase. Costs from renewable generation sources are another driver, representing about one-third of the increase.” I emphasized the last sentence as it doesn’t reflect certain facts about renewable generation (principally wind and solar), including the need to pay OPG for spilled (unused) hydro power, payments to gas plants to idle (ensuring power is available when the wind dies down or the clouds cover the skies), or directions to complete marginal generation (Mattagami’s project cost was $2.6 billion) which produces power when it’s not needed, in the Spring and Fall periods when Ontario’s demand is low.

Millions lost in one day

You need only look back to October 13, 2015, a windy day when the industrial wind turbines were cranking out unneeded power. The reported 3,450 MW of wind capacity was spitting out an average of 2,200 MW per hour, at a cost for the whole day of $6.5 million. Ontario was busy exporting 2,228 MW every hour that day, being paid 1.8 cents a kWh and at the same time, paying wind developers an average of 12.3 cents per kWh—we lost more than $5.5 million. That’s just one day!
Now if the OEB were really transparent, they would bring these issues to the forefront.   At a minimum, the people who write news releases for the OEB should also be required to take some remedial math courses!
Ontario electricity customers should demand that the Ontario Energy Board, whose mission is to “regulate prices in the public interest,” demonstrate factual reporting and provide consumers with the truth about rate increases.
© Parker Gallant,
October 16, 2015

What's your reaction?


  • Sommer
    Posted October 16, 2015 8:58 am 0Likes

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think I saw in the W5 documentary http://www.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=716832&playlistId=1.2608610&binId=1.810401&playlistPageNum=1&binPageNum=1
    that Ontario has the largest deficit in the world? This is frightening.
    I maintain that the energy portfolio needs to be handled by a group of real experts in the various relevant fields, working together toward a shared goal of providing reliable, affordable energy. We need the facts and figures to be exposed by people who can do the math.Yes, it’s complex, but that is not an excuse for mismanagement. We have to turn this around now.
    Thank you again, Parker.

  • Jay Shepherd
    Posted October 16, 2015 9:34 am 0Likes

    I see you complaining again about renewables, Parker. What’s your alternative? Do you want to go back to coal? How about more gas-fired generation? Perhaps you agree with the Ontario Hydro plan from 1998, which if they had their way we would, today, have 20 more nuclear units up and running. Great idea.
    Oh, and yes, let’s by all means buy more hydroelectric power from Manitoba and Quebec. Those options are renewable (while expensive, due to the transmission costs and the risk of future price increases), but they are not enough. Hydroelectric is great, and more development in Ontario would also be good (even Mattagami). You still have to have a source for the rest of our needs.
    The cheapest is coal, as long as you ignore the cost of dirty air. The next cheapest is natural gas, as long as you ignore the fact that we would be hostage to future natural gas prices with no domestic supply. The next cheapest is nuclear, as long as you ignore the cost to decommission radioactive plants and fuel. So many cheaper options, right?
    If you don’t like renewables, which for all their cost are at least clean, what alternative would you propose? It is all very well to criticize. Tell us your preferred answer.

    • Johana
      Posted October 16, 2015 3:17 pm 0Likes

      You may have my spare OED. You need it!
      Parker is NOT complaining. He is EXPLAINING FACTS.
      “go back to coal?” We have NEVER left it.
      BTW, our community is forced to breathe particulate matter coming from coal-fired generating plants in the Ohio valley every day winds blow from the SSE, S, SSW.
      Why are you wasting space about things about which Parker has said NOTHING: gas, nuclear, Man/Que hydroelectricity.
      “source for the rest of our [?] needs.” What part of Parker’s explanation, of IWT generation WHEN we DON’T NEED it and are FORCED to SELL at a LOSS, did you NOT UNDERSTAND?
      Parker said NOTHING about liking/not liking the various fuel sources. He WAS DOING a SIMPLE cost/benefit analysis which you have obviously NOT done!
      Before shooting off again, please research the COMPARATIVE cost analysis of renewables from the beginning of manufacture and construction to disposal.

  • Richard Mann
    Posted October 16, 2015 10:39 am 0Likes

    @Jay Shepherd.
    Renewable are not reducing C02… Ontario’s own Engineers are telling us this.
    See the report, “Ontario’s Electricity Dilemma – Achieving Low Emissions at Reasonable Electricity Rates.”
    Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE), April 2015.
    Page 15 of 23.
    “Why Will Emissions Double as We Add Wind and Solar Plants ?”
    – Wind and Solar require flexible backup generation.
    – Nuclear is too inflexible to backup renewables without expensive engineering changes to the reactors.
    – Flexible electric storage is too expensive at the moment.
    – Consequently natural gas provides the backup for wind and solar in North America.
    – When you add wind and solar you are actually forced to reduce nuclear genera,on to make room for more natural gas generation to provide flexible backup.
    – Ontario currently produces electricity at less than 40 grams of CO2 emissions/kWh.
    – Wind and solar with natural gas backup produces electricity at about 200 grams of CO 2 emissions/kWh. Therefore adding wind and solar to Ontario’s grid drives CO2 emissions higher. From 2016 to 2032 as Ontario phases out nuclear capacity to make room for wind and solar, CO2 emissions will double (2013 LTEP data).
    – In Ontario, with limited economic hydro and expensive storage, it is mathematically impossible to achieve low CO2 emissions at reasonable electricity prices without nuclear generation.

    • Janice
      Posted January 24, 2016 4:25 pm 0Likes

      Hey Richard,
      In your post said that there will be wind and solar with natural gas backup.
      However, there does not need to be natural gas backup. Maybe we could use solar or hydroelectric to back it up.

      • jason williams
        Posted August 6, 2016 11:19 am 0Likes

        how do you use solar as a solar backup ?

  • Pat Cusack
    Posted October 16, 2015 11:15 am 0Likes

    Interesting to see our Mz Wynne allow a hydro price increase announcement in the midst of an election campaign. Shows a lot of confidence in Mr Trudeau. He promises more jobs, she drives existing ones away with the highest electricity costs in North America. Governments do not create jobs except by expanding the civil service. They can create a better environment to entice new business but higher electricity rates does not do it.

  • Tracy
    Posted October 16, 2015 11:16 am 0Likes

    I can tell you that the preferred answer is not renewable energy.
    The manufacturing, installation and operating industrial wind turbines adversly impacts our environment.
    The infrasound produced by the turbines are deadly. Infrasound can penetrate the body, destroying tissue and bone. The damage to our bodies is irreparable and often causes death.
    Let’s also talk about Ontario’s $40 billion deficit. We have the largest deficit in the world! Where did this money go? Taxpayers’ money, our money, was given to industrial wind turbine developers in the form of subsidies. One of these developers is Mike Crawley who is also associated with the Federal Liberal party. We are now attempting to pay this debt with our increased hydro rates.
    Most importantly, the negative health impact experienced by ~25% of the people living in the area of wind turbine developments are not living in their homes; and are sick in bed if not deceased. These people have been asking for help at all levels of government, as well as help from the wind companies and are being ignored. They have received no help at all.
    The more wind developments built, the longer they operate, the bigger trouble we are in.
    God forbid we are stupid enough to have a Federal and Provincial Liberal government. Kathleen is chomping at the bit for this opportunity. How about that Dalton McGuinty? He has not been forgotten. Let’s not forget his part in this fiasco.
    Renewable energy will lead to the demise of Ontario.

  • Gord Schneider
    Posted October 16, 2015 11:27 am 0Likes

    Hear, hear Parker. This ultra progressive government has never done the majority of Ontarians any favours. They are 100% ‘agenda’ driven (read that to mean power, ironically). Many of us are sick and tired of them and their misguided, harmful idealism. It’s a cinch they’ve never lived in the real world. The good news is that they’ll be soon gone. Hopefully by that time, things will not be so bad as to be irrepairable. They’ve never had mandates to do 90% of what they do as it is. Criminals all.

  • Barbara
    Posted October 16, 2015 2:41 pm 0Likes

    The Crown Prosecution Service/CPS, Gov. U.K.
    ‘Misconduct in Public Office’
    This is a webpage from the U.K. which explains what Misconduct in Office is.
    Haven’t done a search for Misconduct in Office in Ontario but it’s a good bet that it has a basis in English law.
    The Ontario power system is owned by the people and those running it don’t own it.
    Harm to the ratepayers has already occurred by mismanagement.
    There are already cases in Ontario where people have had to ask charitable organizations for money to pay for or pay part of their Hydro bills. Proof of harm?
    Perhaps look at what ‘Misconduct in Public Office’ is in Ontario?

  • Bert Zegers
    Posted October 16, 2015 3:10 pm 0Likes

    At Jay Shepherd,
    Ontario power generation is 99.7 % emissions free (OPG tv commercial) we have more power generation capacity in Ontario than we need already.
    60 % of Ontario power is generated by nuclear. 3 to 4 % from wind.
    Do you think nuclear can be replaced with wind? You would need
    40.000 wind turbines, and we would still be out of electricity most of the time. How many gas plants have to be built and produce emissions to back up this wind power? And all these gas plants will be closed before 2030 as unrealistic ideologists want to be 100% CO2 free in 2030.
    Do you know that power generation takes only 20 % of the energy in
    Ontario? That wind energy replaces already clean energy?
    Wind energy may make sense in the US were 50% coal is used for power generation, not in Ontario.
    If there would have been done a cost benefit analysis it would have proven wind is not benefitting Ontario in general. Only those with ties to the wind industry.
    Storage of wind power will make it even more expensive and is damaging to our environment .
    I bet you don’t live close to turbines.

    • Barbara
      Posted October 17, 2015 10:48 am 0Likes

      Wind power makes sense in the U.S.? Coal and nuclear plants there are shutting down . Now U.S. states are looking to Canada for cheap power supplies paid for by Canadians.

  • Shawn Evans
    Posted October 17, 2015 9:13 am 0Likes

    Waterotor offers an environmentally sustainable solution. Check out the technology at waterotor.com

  • Petra Wall
    Posted October 17, 2015 11:29 am 0Likes

    Ontario’s accumulated debt is close to 300 Billion, that is about half the dept that our entire country owes. Canada’s debt is about 300 B. The province is making a lot of bad choices from: moved gas plants, Ornge, and wind energy that is producing more carbon when considering the back up supply that is necessary (burning gas) when there is no wind. Selling our surplus hydro to the States and Quebec for bargain-basement rates at the expense of the taxpayer, is another bad decision. Yet we continue to build more wind mills.

  • Petra Wall
    Posted October 17, 2015 11:31 am 0Likes

    Sorry Canada’s debt is 600 B.

  • Dave Bartlett
    Posted October 17, 2015 8:39 pm 0Likes

    The Ontario electricity scene is a disaster, from all points of view that our citizens have indicated since Dalton McGuinty’s time. Getting off coal was probably a good thing from the pollution point of view. But since then, citizens have pointed out repeatedly, that the Liberals energy decisions have not been in the best interests of the people. The Liberals keep pointing out that renewables are the way to go, regardless of the consequences. During Mc
    Guinty’s reign, Vic Fedeli was asked if the Liberals would reconsider some of their decisions. Vic said, and I think I’m quoting him, the Liberals’ attitude was “Damn the torpedos and full speed ahead” with the renewable energy policies and decisions. I guess Vic was right on the money.
    So what is the prime goal of the Liberals, their ideology, or the interests of the people? Their track record since then answers that question. But I’ve also learned that a Liberal is never wrong. Just ask them, but don’t expect a straight answer. It’s their modus operendi.
    Now, is Justin Trudeau any different? Not in my estimation!

  • Tim
    Posted October 19, 2015 9:26 am 0Likes

    But yet the people of Canada are probably still going to be stupid enough to elect Trudeau as PM. It is an absolute joke that people would vote for a party that has completely destroyed Ontario financially….So I guess it just makes sense to destroy the country financially as well. And don’t even get me started on their policies for “making Canada safer” by instituting their “gun registry” and by signing the UN’s “small arms treaty”. Go ahead and look that one up.

  • Ed
    Posted September 11, 2016 11:57 am 0Likes

    The solution is obvious although not easy. We need to work on storage solutions so we can store excess power produced at lower demand periods to be used later during high demand periods. I’m no electronics wizard but I’m guessing the biggest issue would be the vast size of a storage unit capable of such capacity makes it not viable given today’s technology of batteries, but remember we once thought the same of electric cars!
    Once the storage issue I’d solved we can then move on to harnessing the power of lightening for a totally green power source.

Add Comment

© Copyright 2022 | WCO | Wind Concerns Ontario

to top