Monday, June 9, 2014

Ontario Election 2014: Electricity Promises

I've been tempted to write a summary of policies for the election, but maybe it's best if I just reference a relatively brief one.

Ontario Election 2014: Electricity Promises | AEGENT ENERGY ADVISORS INC:
  • Before the election was called, the Liberals announced ending the residential Debt Retirement Charge starting January 1, 2016. This would coincide with the planned end of the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit. If both changes happen together, the average household will see a net increase of $140 per year in its electricity bill.
  • The Progressive Conservatives have promised to put an end to wind and solar subsidies and estimate the associated savings at $1 billion per year. We estimate the savings would be $500 million per year and this represents a long-term savings of $43 per year on a typical residential bill - one that would not start to be realized until 2018 - 2019.
  • The New Democrats have committed to removing the provincial portion of the HST from electricity bills, starting in 2016. Based on projected residential costs in the Long Term Energy Plan, in 2016 this would save the average household $142 per year.
Ontario’s three major political parties have made energy policy promises part of their election platform. Let’s examine some of these promises through the lens of three electricity policy principles we think are important:
  1. Electricity consumers, not taxpayers, should pay for electricity 
  2. Consumers should pay the true cost of the electricity they use
  3. A culture of conservation should be maintained

I think this is probably a fair overview from a very reputable source, but I must add ...

The current cost of electricity procurement policies involves policies that weren't rational electricity supply policies. The Green Energy Act was introduced as industrial policy, and I'd dispute whether charges from that don't belong with taxpayers - passing these charges onto business can easily be seen as taxation without representation. I think the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers just might agree with that. Alternatively, the charges could be put on the bills of the residential consumers who did vote for higher electricity wages without impacting industrial bills.

Similarly, changes to the Industrial Conservation Initiative, proposed by the Liberals, will raise the bills of residential and smaller businesses.

Regardless, the scoring order is the same:

  1. Liberals costliest to residential consumers
  2. NDP cheapest, but savings are likely no really savings but a reallocation to taxpayers
  3. PC is actual cost control - but not as quick as most would like.
I'll add I think conservation should be costed and implemented as any source would be - and avoided during the period of excess supply, as other new supply procurement should be.


I wouldn't want my comments about seen as a criticism of the compact, coherent summary from Aegent.
So here's a sample of a lengthier, but less substantial, summary of energy policies from the Borden Ladner Gervais law firm (omits cost impacts of removing OCEB yet mentions elimination of debt retirement charge to occur at the same time)

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