Dalton McGuinty’s power surge

by Connie Woodcock, Toronto Sun

I’m having trouble staying interested in the federal election campaign.

There’s another campaign gearing up that I’m more excited about — and I think of it every time I turn on a light. The provincial election is coming up this fall and I can’t wait for Ontario voters to send Dalton McGuinty a message: Our electricity bills are way too high and it’s your fault.

And it’s hard to get it off my mind because my household goes on time-of-use electricity billing Monday — a constant reminder of exactly how much more money is coming out of our pockets to pay for the Liberal government’s flawed energy program.

To prepare for the big day, my family of three has been in dress rehearsals for the last two weeks trying to use less power during the peak billing period during the day and do more in the off-peak rate period starting at 9 p.m.

It hasn’t been going well.

My dining room is normally sunny, but it’s a cloudy day so I’m sitting in front of my laptop in thick gloom because we’ve been shutting off lights, even when we need them.

Then there’s the dishwasher. They don’t usually come with timers so I often forget to turn ours on before bedtime. Next morning, I’m facing running the machine at nearly 10¢ per kwH instead of 5.1¢ for off-peak or 8.1¢ for mid-peak.

The other night, to remind me, I resorted to setting the stove timer to go off in the middle of the national news.

Because we live in the country, we have another electricity user we need to remember — the water pump. If you turn on a tap for more than two seconds, the pump silently goes to work and it’s not a good idea to go to sleep leaving water running, in case it malfunctions.

Washers and dryers don’t have timers either and doing laundry late at night isn’t my idea of normal life. So for two weeks, I’ve been doing it on the weekend, so I can avoid the high weekday rates. It’s worked — in a way. But every now and then some household emergency comes along.

We still need to install power bars on the three TV and satellite boxes in the house but then, of course, you have to remember to use them.

Last month, along with our time-of-use notification, Hydro One helpfully sent us a package of coupons for discounts on items I mostly don’t need — a new air conditioner or low-flow shower heads. Like most people, we’ve done most of the little things already and we don’t even have air conditioning.

But the big problem is that we work at home. There’s no excuse for us to soak up somebody else’s electricity during the day. There are only so many changes we can make to keep our bill from skyrocketing — which is what almost always happens, even though the government tried to sell smart meters as money savers. They’re not.

Everywhere smart meters have been tried, they’ve caused pricing outrage — from Marietta, Georgia, to Portland, Maine, from Springfield, Missouri, to Salinas, California, there’s been nothing but trouble.

In Ontario, Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak says they’re a billion-dollar tax grab he’d eliminate if he’s elected.

My bill isn’t holding me hostage in my house — yet — but with rates going up 46%, many people are facing unaffordable power, all because successive governments have not been able to get the electricity provider under control. The McGuinty government has made things much, much worse by forcing an unaffordable alternative energy program on us while eliminating coal-fired generating plants and dragging its feet on new nuclear facilities.

So it’s no wonder many Ontarians may be having trouble paying much attention to the federal election campaign. The feds aren’t making our lives miserable on a daily basis. The McGuinty Liberals are.

11 thoughts on “Dalton McGuinty’s power surge

  1. This Fed election is a dress reversal for what’s planned for the Dalton gang.

    We can make politics as entertaining as Hockey Night and its 100% participatory…
    e.g. exposing on MSM blogs the phony TV ads by McGuinty’s astro-turf front “Working Families”

  2. Great article Connie. I feel the same way. I suspect that those of us who used to vote Liberal or NDP might be making a switch too because we can see what a shambles this government has made of hydro and what neglect it gives healthcare.
    Dalton is purely take from the people, not for the people.

  3. Today Ottawa announced their introduction of Smart Meters for Water!…………now that McGuinty knows he won’t be around after October along with all his wee little “minions” he has accomplished the beginning of the Water takeover” through his ex “minion” Jim Watson in Ottawa………………

    McGuinty has to hurry up and get his thorough destruction of Ontario done before he’s turfed out in October and then he can sit back in his padded chair and suck up the profits for the next decade or so inside the Industry he created to take over our Province!

    http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Wireless+water+meters+unveiled/4587259/story.html

  4. T3 and all: as most of us live in Rural Ontario and the vast number of Vacationers come from the urban centres like Toronto and Ottawa to our areas then we have access to these people for a short period of time and can “open their eyes a bit with what McGuinty has in store for “their vacation destinations” (our home).

    It’s a great opportunity to make a mess of Dalton’s plan’s for Ontario……….it will be our only chance to sway voters and we must all become “tourist guides for 8 weeks of the year this summer…………we have to arm ourselves with brochures, signs, whatever it takes to wake up the masses………….

    Giddyup!…………….let’s call ourselves “Ontario’s Army for Truth!”

  5. More problems with water in San Francisco;

    “No-Flow Sewers In San Francisco” by Wm.M.Briggs, Mar.2,2011

    http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=3544

    Better think twice before there are big problems with water in Ontario cities.

  6. T3, do not worry about Toronto.

    Toronto and Rob Ford has showed the Liberals what to expect. Why did he ask for $150 million, and rewrote the transit plans? Because the Liberals are terrified of him and he knows it.

    A little story.

    A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of tea with the current Minister of Transport at a mutual friend’s home. I can tell you that myself and the friend are both heavily involved in the local anti-wind group. And the Minister is well aware of our concerns and involvement.

    Now the Minister is a charming lady. And I have worked on the factory shop floor for many years. But when the subject of Mr. Ford came up, the language that came out of her mouth was as blue as blue as I have ever heard. (My video camera was off out of respect for my friend.)

    I think Ms, Woodcock expresses most of out feelings in this article. The Federal Election is a diversion; the Main Event is coming.

  7. The Federal election is not a diversion as the environmentalists must get money for IWTs from the Federal government and spread IWTs across Canada. This may be the last chance for environmentalists to introduce cap-and-trade in North America.

    So far cap-and-trade has failed to obtain passage in Washington. So sneak in the back door through Canada. This would be an economic disaster for Canada.

    Renewable energy and cap-and-trade go hand in hand in this political game. This is a North American game that is being played here.

  8. NATION TALK News Release, Toronto Nov.14,2008, Re: OSEA

    “We feel strongly that Ontario is on the cusp of green energy revolution,said Kristopher Stevens. Our board will be very much involved in shaping Ontario’s Green Energy Act to ensure that every Ontarian can be not just a consumer,but a consever and generator of clean,green energy”

    http://www.nationtalk.ca/modules/news/article.php?storyid=15279

    Also names the new OSEA Board members.

  9. Our challenge is people’s misunderstanding of “green”
    People are sold on saving the planet.
    So how do we show them a better way and make undersand that for profit energy is Evil.

  10. The real issue here is the removal of the rights of the people through laws like the Green Energy Act.

    To these people the particular issues don’t matter as it is the rights of the people they want to remove.

    We have seen this in electricity production and we can see this now developing in water issues in North America.

    Also their PLAN considers birds and bats as just more collateral damage.

    It’s time to just stop listening to these eco-nuts.

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