A winter job was to get rid of the old receipts dating back to 2000. Definitely too old, so I started opening binders and dumping the contents in a huge garbage bag to be burnt, stopping at 2010. As papers tumbled into the bag, one fell out, almost on cue. You guessed it, Hydro One from exactly 8 years ago!
The Jan, 7, 2009 bill reflects usage from Nov. 18 to Dec. 18, ‘08, 28 days averaging 140 kWh per day. At that time the debt retirement charge was in effect, so, removing that, and remembering that the GST was only 5 % then, we were charged $469.41 or $0.1194 cents per kWh.
The recently received bill dated Jan. 13, 2017, covers usage from Dec. 3, 2016 to Jan. 6, 2017, 34 days and averages 146 kWh. To give the devil her due, effective Jan. 1, 2017, the 8 % provincial portion of the HST was removed but this bill only reflects 5 days of this. Adjusting it as a normal month with only 5 % HST would give a charge of $961.33 or $0.1934 cents per kWh, a 62% increase.
So, in comparison, eight years ago, the same amount of electricity would have cost us only $592.70 instead of the adjusted figure of $961.33, both less the refundable farm portion of the HST.
Also, consider that the recent bill covers the Christmas period (several strings of outdoor lights, a lit Christmas tree and all the associated baking and cooking) plus barn changes (bigger bulk tank, milking more cows, fans) and actual usage has not increased much. Our electricity conservation work is obviously doing its job!
Still, I don’t know about you, but that cash tree in the back forty just isn’t keeping up!
Angela Dorie is an agricultural writer and a Jersey farmer near Cornwall.