Thursday, March 3, 2011

TheStar: Five steps to lower hydro bills — and votes

Andy Frame has contributed another article at The Toronto Star.  

I don't have a problem with any of his 5 suggestions - but suggestion #2 and #3 seem to be only accounting changes.

#5 should be nonsensical.  Why would small-scale hydro not have been developed already if it is feasible.  The answer might lie in government policy, with Bala Falls indicating projects not affordable to Ontario Power Generation, with their hydro rates set at under 4 cents/kWh, are profitable under feed-tariffs (FITs) available to private sector subsidy seekers.  Mr. Frame might have it right.

His 4th suggestion, which is basically to stop banging our heads against a brick wall, I happen to like a lot.
The one that really caught my attention was his first suggestion:
"Eliminate the province’s 8 per cent portion of the 13 per cent HST, and demand that the federal government eliminate its 5 per cent portion on the grounds that hydro is an essential service."

I had commented at the Star site on another article that this should be NDP policy - Mr. Layton, Ms. Horvath should adopt this policy collectively.  It would benefit them at both levels in elections this year.

Consumption taxes on energy are regressive and her NDP has been out front on all the numbers, and the policy. The NDP has creating the same branding problem with federal/provincial branding as the Liberals, in sending out conflicting policies federally and provincially.  Mr. Layton should stop calling for no harmonization - instead campaigning against consumption taxes on energy.

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