Expect a 46% hydro rate hike

By ANTONELLA ARTUSO, Queen’s Park Bureau Chief  Toronto Sun

Residential electricity prices will rise by 46% over the next five years, but be offset by a new 10% hydro benefit, the McGuinty government says.

The province’s fall economic statement says there are two reasons for the growing bills – the move to pricier but cleaner energy like solar and wind and an investment in electricity infrastructure and generation.

“While absolutely necessary, these investments are increasing electricity costs,” the statement says.

The government will introduce an Ontario Clean Energy Benefit as of Jan. 1 that will reduce the bills of eligible residental farm and small business consumers by 10% a month for the next five years.

The 10% comes off the entire bill, not just rates, and includes the distribution and harmonized sales tax. Rates will continue to rise.

All homeowners, including those who purchased energy price plans, are eligible. The average family would save about $150 a year, the government says.

Businesses that use 250,000 kWh a year or less also get the hydro price cut saving about $1,716 a year, and farms would save about $2,052 a year Premier Dalton McGuinty said in the Legislature that Ontarians will view this break as “good news” in economically challenging times.

Tory MPP Peter Shurman said the government’s decision is behaving like a guy deeply in debt who spends $50 he finds in a jacket pocket on beer with his buddies.

PC Leader Tim Hudak has called for the government to wrap up the debt repayment charge on the hydro bills, and to rethink its Green Energy Act which he argues is social rather than economic policy.

NDP MPP Andrea Horwath has been campaigning to get the government to remove the provincial portion of the HST from hydro bills, which adds 8% to the bill.

The fall economic statement puts the size of the provincial deficit this year at $18.7 billion, less than projected in the government’s spring budget.

Tory MPP Norm Miller said Thursday that the Liberal government’s economic plan will leave a legacy debt of $20,000 per Ontarian.

Miller said Ontario under the Liberals has under performed economically compared to other provinces, and has been shedding well-paying private sector manufacturing jobs by the tens of thousands.

McGuinty said that Ontarians understand that the economic difficulties began outside the province with a world-wide recession, and that his government’s stimulus spending has built bridges and roads, schools, court houses and hospitals across the province while creating 300,000 jobs.

Mike Schreiner, leader of the Green Party of Ontario, said the government should be offering citizens grants and loans to make their homes more energy efficient.

“I think the most appropriate long-term solution to rising hydro rates is an aggressive energy efficiency and conservation plan because it saves us money today, tomorrow and 10 years from now,” Schreiner said. “Otherwise, we’re just going to be creating more debt.”

15 thoughts on “Expect a 46% hydro rate hike

  1. looks like we will catch up to denmark in a few years. 7,500 wind turbines and the average hydro bill there is arounnd 500 canadian per house. thanks dalton

  2. This is really hard to manage, when unlike Denmark, Canada has an abundance of hydro power, natural gas, oil, uranium and 50 years experience in nuclear development. Only Dalton McGuinty with his misplaced fantasies on mirrors and whirlygigs could pull this off.

  3. Meanwhile, the IPCC finally admits to its true agenda:

    “Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection, says the German economist and IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer. The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.”

    Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 14 November 2010


    Hmmm, so much for Dalton’s claims that we had to switch to green energy to fight global warming.

  4. Dalton’s was talking a short while ago about expecting no more than a 1% increase. How did he get it so wrong? Considering his past prediction on our electricity prices how much faith should we have he can now hold it to 46%? With the dumb smart meters, his habit of giving money away for nothing in return we may have to hope it is only 46%. Ontario does not need more capacity in the next five years so just what are we paying more for?

  5. I would like to know if this 46% increase is on top of the 18% increase in electricity costs this year, and if this includes any costs for the construction of a new reactor?

  6. This is grounds for dismissal. I told the committee reviewing the Green Energy Act, “If you continue with your plan, I believe you will cause the collapse of this province.” I’d hate to be right. Isn’t it better that the McGuinty Government go than the province fall to pieces. Fire every last one of them.

  7. I would be careful about that 46% number from the Liberals.

    A recent survey showed the 53.765% of all politicians don’t understand how to calculate percentages. It could just as easily be 460%.

  8. Grant. Read the link Lynne provided i.e. IPCC
    Then, re-read your post.

  9. So… A 460% increase.

    My monthly hydro bill will be $736!

    Well, at least that is slightly smaller then my mortgage!



  10. Lynne, you never get a straight answer from them about what the increases will be. That would be political suicide.

    Same reason they won’t release the costs of the transmission lines and on and on about wind turbine costs.

  11. …..looks like the OFA got their way? I think that the” farmers” that cash in on wind and solar SHOULD PAY FULL PRICE!!!!!!

    • I agree!
      Yes, this certainly is an interesting organization (OFA)
      I think more light should be shone on it.
      It certainly is the Gorilla (OFA) in the room re: farmers
      Don’t get me wrong – there are many good farmers out there –
      that are good stewards of the land –
      but, there’s the other angle, too.

      If the farmers want respect from the public – as a collective group –
      they shouldn’t be thinking – they are entitled to –
      – free stuff –
      especially, something as important as electricity.

      I wonder what the OFA position is now!

      • The little people who host IWTs and solar panels are only getting the crumbs off the table and they are not even smart enough to know this. It’s the Big Boys who are involved in IWTs and solar who are/ will reap the really big money from this scam.

  12. Completely inaccurate

    If energy coast go up 46%…there are taxes that will rise , costs for everything to be passed down to us from hospitals , schools , businesses , industry , stores , subsidized housing..even to pump your gas…
    That figure is a joke.
    There is another idiot talking about conserving electricity to spin past the real problem…McGuinty has sold us out

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