Saturday, December 31, 2011

TheRecord - Cities seek to hike, reduce electric bills

TheRecord - Cities seek to hike, reduce electric bills:

Two interesting aspects to this informative article: the increasing tendency of municipalities sucking funds out of local distribution companies and then applying for rate increases for infrastructure spending; and, not quoted here, the charges added to bills due to decreasing demand (we pay one level for demand reduction programs, and another hand charges us to recover the revenues lost due to the demand reduction).
"Politicians have taken more than $149 million out of three municipal electric utilities since turning them into profit-making ventures in 2000. They’ve spent the cash to build a new city hall in Cambridge, pay RIM Park debt in Waterloo and build the Kingsdale Community Centre in Kitchener, among other projects.
The utilities are now seeking Ontario Energy Board approval to adjust distribution rates starting May 1, 2012. The utilities distribute electricity but do not generate it."

Mayors defend taking cash out of electric utilities, arguing the money is well spent and helps ease property taxes. Electricity had been delivered at cost before city councils took control of the utilities.
“We’re all benefitting from it,” Halloran said. “That money helps to reinvest back into providing services for the community, recreational facilities, repairing roads, repairing other things that the city needs.

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