Most people didnt know the government of Ontario raised energy rates last month. The government did this last year at this time and will likely do it next year. You will know that your energy rate went up when you get your next bill.
Of course, no one is happy with this. The Ontario director of the Canadian Federation of Taxpayers, Candice Malcolm, calls the price hike “just another tax on households.” Worse, she says its a result of “mismanagement and lousy decisions made at Queens Park,” “inside deals,” and “deception.”
Here are her top five government blunders that have forced up your energy bill.
1. Debt retirement charge
“When the former Ontario Hydro utility was dismantled in 1999, it handed an astonishing $38.1 billion in debt and liabilities to the Ontario Electricity Finance Corporation. That debt was to be paid off by ratepayers through the debt retirement fee. This debt would have long since been retired, had it not been for a loophole that allowed the Liberal government to redirect these funds for other purposes rather than actually paying off this debt. This debt is now projected to not be paid off until 2016.”
2. Green Energy Act
“Former premier Dalton McGuintys green pet project has been nothing short of a disaster. It closed all the provinces low-cost coal production plants and replaced them with highly-subsidized solar and wind farms. Aside from being disruptive eyesores in many communities, these new renewable energy sources are far from reliable and therefore required backup electricity plants to be built. This also means Ontario produces too much energy, and is forced to sell excess electricity at a loss, or sometimes even pay producers not to produce energy.”
3. Global adjustment
“This charge on your electricity bill claims to pay for conservation programs, but it also includes a fee to cover the costs of subsidies to green energy producers. According to the Fraser [Institute] report, the global adjustment is the leading factor in rising electricity costs over the past six years.”
4. Employee compensation
“Last December, an auditor generals report revealed the culture of entitlement and lucrative compensation benefits for employees at Ontarios hydro utilities such as Ontario Power Generation and Hydro One.”
In 2013, Hydro Ones president earned $728,570 annually, while there were 11,538 employees from Ontario Power Corporation, Hydro One and their subsidiaries earning more than $100,000 per year (before factoring in their pension benefits).
5. Gas plant fiasco
“As we learned from the 2013 auditor generals report, the price tag for the Liberals political decision to cancel two gas plants is up to $1.09 billion. Hydro ratepayers across the province will cover the tab for the cancelled plants over the next 20 years.”