A lot of us can’t afford our electricity bills anymore

By Toby Barrett, Tillsonburg News

There is a growing concern locally and across Ontario.  People are finding they just don’t have the extra money to pay for electricity. I hear it at my offices and I’ve heard it door to door as I canvassed hamlets across Norfolk and Haldimand.

And the dawning of a new year does little to shed light on how government expects families and industry to afford its costly legacy of shaky energy policies.  After seven years of tinkering and backtracking with energy experiments, electricity rates have skyrocketed 75 per cent under this government, and that doesn’t include an additional 8 per cent HST now on bills.

Worse still, Mr. McGuinty’s expensive energy schemes – including the smart meter tax machine and the Samsung deal – will soon force bills up another 46 per cent according to this government’s own modest estimates. In dollars and cents, the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters estimate the family electricity bill is going up another $732 a year by 2015. 

The Ontario Liberals’ decision to vote down a motion this fall to remove the HST from electricity bills will come back to haunt them –I and my caucus colleagues voted in support.

While we see massive subsidies to green energy developers well above the market price for power – 80.2 cents per kWh for solar vs. 4 cents per kWh for coal – in the end, it’s you and I who pay the price.

There are other jurisdictions that adopted similar buy-high, sell-low approaches, but they are walking away after discovering the policy to be unsustainable and unaffordable.

Spain, for example, found that 2.2 jobs were lost in their broader economy for every job that was created by the subsidies. And Italy’s approach cost 4.8 jobs in the broader economy for every subsidized job created.

In response to the negative impact on job creation, and the cost, many international leaders in green energy are now rushing to slash lucrative subsidies – Germany, the UK and New South Wales, Australia have all joined the line-up to reduce green grants.

Here in Ontario, it’s municipalities that have been lining up to take their shots at changing the costly course of the Green Energy Act. Over the past two months at least 25 municipalities have passed motions asking for government action on the electricity file. Many of them echo the sentiments of a draft resolution sent around by the Municipal Taxpayer Advocacy group, in part to:

·       remove the PST portion of the electricity bill
·       limit electricity rate increases to the rate of inflation
·       restore input on wind and energy from waste
·       report findings of a Competition Bureau investigation into the Samsung contract.

As well, since last fall a series of resolutions have been tabled in which 75 Ontario municipalities opposed the use of huge wind turbines – requesting a moratorium on new wind power projects until health concerns have been addressed. Last May, Norfolk County approved a motion to support a moratorium on the erection of any industrial wind turbines until rigorous scientific research has been conducted.

As Ontario’s Opposition, we support a moratorium, as well as real choice on time-of-use smart meter pricing, and the naming of a consumer advocate to the Ontario Energy Board.

We can’t afford to do less.

9 thoughts on “A lot of us can’t afford our electricity bills anymore

  1. We have been engaged in a “he said-she said” battle over wind turbines for a few years now and it’s time to end this.

    The U.K. situation has proven that wind turbines don’t work. The published information as to the situation in the U.K. should be sent to all MSM outlets and every MPP. Let people know that Ontarians are informed about these events and we don’t want the same situation to develope here.

    At long last we can prove what we say!!!

  2. Thanks David!

    But I think the U.K. is farther along the energy poverty path than Ontarians are. Not to worry as Ontario is not far behind. Smart meters here now but not yet in the U.K.

  3. My wife and I just received our notice yesterday regarding time of use billing. With both of our children off to college, our electricity bills have leveled off, although our usage has dropped. As of February 4th, I expect our hydro bills will start to increase again unless I shut my fridge off, my freezer off, my hot water tank off, my water pump off, don’t cook or boil water, turn my thermostat way down, don’t watch TV, run the dishwasher, do laundry and use lighting sparingly from 7am to 9pm during the week.
    Due to a severe back injury, I’ve been on a fixed income for years. Fortunately my wife works. How are others less fortunate than I going to manage these exorbitant increases in their hydro bills? What a sick joke we have for a provincial government. 🙁

  4. Well Ed, you are going to have plenty of company this year as many Ontarians are going to feel the Hydro bill pinch.

    No thought was ever given to the fact that people need an ample supply of affordable energy just to survive in cold climates.

  5. My question is this: Why do we, all the people across Canada, unite and just REVOLT. Seriously, revolt! Imagine what would happen. These greedy, totally financially irresponsible & ignorant politicians would be forced to realize that their renewable energy programs are NOT wanted bcos they do NOT work.

    These back door deals have to stop once and for all. We should demand that CEO’s run our country and not slick talking wannabe glory seekers, that always have a personal agenda.

    Our Ontario Premier McGuinty claims that the people wanted clean energy. Who are these voters? No one I speak to wanted this. Is he referring to the tiny minority of the downtown Toronto core that could not think their way out of a paper bag? The one’s who’s parents bought them the condo’s they live in. The one’s that never had the responsibility of starting their lives from the same base that the majority of Canadians did, and that is struggling from scratch, without the financial support of family. They have no idea of what struggling is bcos they have had everything handed to them.

    It sickens me that McGuinty actually IGNORES all the failings of renewable energy reports from European countries that bought into this Al Gore SCAM!

    I blame Harris for privatizing Hydro & Gas. I blame McGuinty for vote pandering and back door, special interest dealings. I blame us for allowing all this to happen to us.

    We need to demand that our HIRED/VOTED for politicians do right by us or they are out……without waiting for a new election, 4 years away, while we suffer bcos of their greedy, self interests.

    The only way to make politicians tow the line for voters is to demand a law that allows us to imprison them for unethical conduct. They would think 3 times before they imposed expensive SCAMS on us. That would sure clean up the gov’t once and for all.

    Sorry for the rant……but enough is enough! Make them accountable once and for all.

  6. I just got my electric bill and I can’t pay it. What the hell is going on? Every time I get one of these things it costs me more than the previous one. I can’t cut back anymore or I may as well just have the lines unhooked from the house and I’ll go back to the way my ancestors did it…with lanterns and no TV or washing machines or hot water or electric stove…might just as well be living in the 19th century…we will be soon if this crap keep up. I vote for revolution, too. I’m selling my farm and leaving Ontario, I can live cheaper in the Yukon.

  7. I was just reading the sticker that Hydro sent. I stuck it on the cupboard above the dishwasher. That way no one in this house can irresponsibly push the dishwasher button before 9:00pm. Heaven forbid! The other sticker is over the washer & dryer in the laundry room. Then a thought occurred to me… recently, while flying home from a Florida vacation, as we approached Toronto I like to look down at all the pretty twinkly lights.
    How the hell is it that for all these years cities are bejewelled in lights? Think about the millions of lights that are just there to be pretty and serve no purpose what so ever. Big cities feast on power and us rural folks have to pay for it by losing our homes to the scorge of wind power! If cities in North America would turn out even half of their unnecessary lighting we wouldn’t need to be worrying about hydro pricing. Have you ever been to Vegas??? Jeezus , now I’m flat mad!
    This guy above, poor Kevin, is thinking of going to the frozen Yukon because he can’t pay his hydro bill! I say enough is freaking enough! We need to revolt NOW! Stop paying your property taxes and tell the Ontario government that you were forced to choose heat and lights! If everyone stopped paying taxes the government would start to listen. Make the cities turn off all the wasted lighting!
    Many years ago while driving home from Whitehorse to Toronto, I found that I could actually see better in the dark! When I approached a city full of glaring light it was actually surreal!

    PS. David… Did you get the GD Tar & Feathers???

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