Parker Gallant: recent pet peeves
Recently a number of issues from ruminations of Premier Kathleen Wynne and her appointed Ministers have driven me to distraction. Couple those ruminations with the partial privatization of Hydro One and the promises to regulate it, as they have in the past, and it should make us all truly worried that the Ontario we grew up in is slowly sinking into the abyss!
I recently received a notice that the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) had reached their conclusions about regulating the OESP (Ontario Electricity Support Program), telling us that we will see our rates increase 0.11cents per kilowatt when the program is fired up on January 1, 2016. A report prepared by the OEB a year ago indicated 570,000 households (12% of electricity customers) in Ontario live in what is referred to as “energy poverty.”1. The OESP is seen by Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli as a way to deliver a social program to help those in that dilemma.
Normally a “social program” of this nature is delivered via the Ministry of Community and Social Services, but Minister Chiarelli has decided Ontario ratepayers should pick up the costs because Finance Minister Sousa is trying to reduce the provincial deficit. The OEB estimates the OESP will cost $158.4 million annually of which $13.4 million will represent “administrative costs.” In the scheme of things, $158.4 million means little, adding about $1.00 per month to the average (800 kilowatts per month) ratepayer bill, but that dollar will be “after-tax” and it is based on bureaucratic estimates which are generally low, or coloured to avoid advising us of the real cost.
Reflecting on the foregoing, the OEB just announced our rates went up $4.42 per month effective November 1st, 2015 and Minister Chiarelli told us the OCEB (Ontario Clean Energy Benefit) that reduced our bills by 10% would no longer apply effective January 1st. Couple that with the major issue he made about ending collection of the debt retirement charge (DRC) and how it would save us money, one would think our rates will finally go down!
Read the entire article here: Parker’s Recent Pet Peeves (PRPP)