By Brian Cross Windsor Star
“I’m not sure anyone expected it to go up this much, this fast,” said Sasso.
He said the culprit is the move toward green renewable energy projects — wind and solar — that produce electricity at a much higher cost than Ontario’s conventional sources of nuclear and hydro.
You might want to start hanging your laundry on a clothesline because between now and and July 1 the cost of running your dryer — and everything else electrical — is going up dramatically.
Add up all the increases, and take away $1.13 because Enwin Utilities is reducing what it charges to distribute power to your home, and the total is $19.30 a month for a residential consumer burning 1,000 kilowatt hours a month. That’s a 15.5 per cent hike, bringing the bill to $143.71.
“It’s certainly incredible that cost drivers would push a bill up almost $21 (without the Enwin reduction), but that’s what’s this does,” said Andrew Sasso Enwin’s director of regulatory affairs, after he had crunched the numbers following the announcement Thursday.
The Ontario Energy Board announced a hike in the commodity charge for electricity, effective May 1. For a 1,000 kWh customer in Windsor, that cost will go from $63.11 to $71.85, a 13.8 per cent increase.
Coming July 1 is the introduction of the HST, increasing your bill by eight per cent — an extra $10.61. Then there are some smaller recent charges, such as an 11.1 per cent rise in the $10.18 charged to bring power from the plant to Windsor, and an Ontario government green energy charge that amounts to 42 cents, according to Sasso.
“It’s absolutely more expensive than we anticipated,” he said, recalling earlier media reports that warned of a $300-a-year increase by 2011.
The current hikes raise rates by $240 a year, one year early. And the next energy board Regulated Price Plan (RPP) revision comes in six months, effective Nov. 1.
And with more renewable projects in the pipeline, we can expect more increases, said Conservative energy critic John Yakabuski.
“You can’t pay premium prices to generate electricity and not have it affect the consumer’s bill at the end of the day,” he said Thursday. He said the Ontario Liberals have “totally overstated” the effect of renewable projects on the province’s power supply, while “completely understating” the effect on the price.
“The consumers that are being slowly led down this path, not enough to object strenuously at any given time, it’s going to have an effect on their bills and their ability to pay.”