Ontario’s Wind Powered Energy Poverty

turbines ontario

Ontario: energy poverty, the latest mark of its insane wind power policy.

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Around the globe, the true cost of the great wind power fraud is catching up with a vengeance. The phrase “energy poverty” is now synonymous with the insane (and utterly pointless) costs of subsidising the ‘production’ of electricity, using a wholly weather dependent ‘system’, that has to have 100% of its capacity, backed up 100% of the time by conventional generators:

Wind Industry’s Bogus Claims about “Powering” Millions of Homes Scorched

Ontario is the place where the most bizarre energy policy in the world has seen thousands of giant fans speared into the backyards of homes – in the most agriculturally productive part of Canada.

When we say “bizarre” we mean completely bonkers, as Canada has one of the “cleanest” power generation mixes on the planet, with the vast bulk of its electricity coming from zero-emissions sources, such as nuclear and hydro.

Ontario energy mix 2013

As explained in this post, Professor Ross McKitrick: Wind turbines don’t run on wind, they run on subsidies, Ontario has built a policy that sees wind power (when the wind is blowing) “displace” emissions free hydro at enormous cost to power consumers and taxpayers, as wind power outfits are guaranteed to reap fat profits, despite market conditions.

Where the wholesale market price for power in Ontario is between $30-50 per MWh, wind power generators pocket a fixed price of $135 MWh – even if there is absolutely no market for it; and the Province literally has to pay neighbouring US States to take it.

Parker Gallant – a former banker – is out to ensure that Ontario’s power consumers and taxpayers are aware of just how ludicrous its energy policy has become.

In the piece below, Parker has turned his focus to the most iniquitous and socially disruptive aspect of the great wind power fraud: that the poorest and most vulnerable are no longer able to afford power at all; and, with the fraud set to continue, the numbers of those sitting freezing in the dark will simply escalate.

Parker Gallant: the cost of curtailing wind is borne by all

Parker Gallant: poor hit hardest by the great wind power fraud.

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New assistance program creates more energy poverty in Ontario
Peasantry
Parker Gallant
28 March 2015

On March 26, 2015, one day before release of the “Sunshine List”, Ontario’s Minister of Energy Bob Chiarelli announced the province has “low-income” electricity consumers who struggle to pay their electricity bills – and he intended to do something about it.

What a surprise: there is no denying the Liberal government forced more households into “energy poverty.” But Chiarelli’s press release and his diatribe at the press conference didn’t use that term; he blamed the need to close “dirty coal plants”* for rising costs. He wasn’t specific on how many “low-income” households there were or how many would benefit in his announcement, which was a followup to his letter of April 23, 2014 to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB), asking for recommendations to “protect low-income residential customers”.

The OEB submitted a 45-page report, and recommended “a maximum credit of $50 per month or $600 annually, with an average credit of $27.” to provide relief.

The cost estimate by OEB to provide this assistance was “between $175 and $225 million” including “administrative costs of approximately $20 million” or (10 per cent of total program cost).

The report suggested 500,000 households or about 11% of the 4.5 million hooked up to the grid would be in the “low-income” group. The report (dated December 31, 2014) was released to the public by the OEB the same day Chiarelli made his announcement. The media had no time to review it and question the Minister.

The prior (and retained) support program, LEAP (Low-income Energy Assistance Program), in 2013 had a total cost to ratepayers of $3.7 million which is/was a cost to ratepayers of less than $1 per year.

One would expect social support programs to fall under the Ministry of Community and Social Services, but with that cupboard empty and Premier Wynne and Finance Minister Sousa promising to balance the budget by 2017/18, a “revenue tool” had to be found somewhere. Wynne and Sousa presumably saw Hydro One (which just received a sizeable rate increase from the OEB) and its billing debacle as a looming “energy poverty” problem, more to do with high electricity prices. So Minister Chiarelli, who uses Tim Horton’s coffee as his reference currency, was the “go to” person.

The plan concocted was, let’s ding the ratepayers! The OEB ran the numbers and told him the cost could be a “monthly fixed charge for a residential customer” of $2.55. One large “Timmies” a month or $31 a year! The balance of the costs suggested were to come from a volumetric (per/kWh) charge on other users.

Chiarelli in his press release highlighted removal of the “debt retirement charge” and inferred that his cost of “less than a dollar a month” or $12 a year, support of low-come users would not impact ratepayers.

The release said “Removing the Debt Retirement Charge will save the typical residential electricity ratepayer $5.60 per month” (or $67 a year). The press release failed to mention the “Ontario Clean Energy Benefit” (OCEB) will be removed at the same time, increasing the typical residential electricity ratepayer’s bill by $170 a year.

Quick math indicates 4 million ratepayers would pay an extra $115 annually ($170 + $12 = $182 – $67 = $115) with the balance presumably paid by commercial consumers. So, the promise of no impact wasn’t true!

Minister Chiarelli opted for the OEB to implement “a fully volumetric charge applied at an equal rate to all rate classes” via his letter of February 17, 2015 to the OEB.

The letter was brought to my attention by Bruce Sharp who also ran the numbers on the cost to ratepayers. Chiarelli’s choice was to increase the per kilowatt (kWh) charge to all ratepayers so that one large “Timmies” per month became $130 per annum, pushing up the average bill on January 1, 2016 by $300!

That will put the all-in rate to an average Toronto Hydro customer at 25 cents per kWh. In 2003 the all-in charge to that ratepayer was 8.8 cents a kWh – an increase of 184%!

Why didn’t Minister Chiarelli insist the “$175 and $225 million” cost of this program come out of the OCEB?

The OCEB costs taxpayers $1.1 billion annually, but this money appears earmarked for a revenue grab by Finance Minister, Sousa, presumably to impress rating agencies and reduce the deficit, leaving ratepayers to pick up its cost. This will push more ratepayers into energy poverty by using Ontario’s “middle class” households to pay for something the Liberal government created.

Simply put, this government’s attempt to balance their budget on the backs of ratepayers is a tax grab labelled the “Ontario Electricity Support Program” (OESP).

Reducing taxpayer spending by $1.1 billion by eliminating the OCEB, grabbing a further $175 to $225 million after-tax dollars (with $20 million for another bureaucracy) to fund the OESP, and $200 million more in HST from ratepayers is a Wynne “revenue tool” and a $1.5 billion tax grab!

When will this government understand that ratepayers are also taxpayers?

*Editor’s note: Using expensive wind and solar power
Wind Concerns Ontario

Heat or Eat?

Heat or Eat?

 

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Margaret Shelly says:

    Green Energy? I don’t think so. Look at what it costs to make these things, to transport them to the site where they are erected, all the forest that is destroyed the animal habitat that is lost, the birds that are killed by the big fan blades and the maintenance needed in the future. I live North of Sault Ste. Marie and all the power produced by them is sent to the USA. We don’t need it here. The same with the solar farms. The way I see it we are paying to subsidies power for the States.

    Our government should put solar panels on all our homes, so we can produce energy for our own homes. So we can get off the grid. Panels and a bank of batteries. No power poles, no power lines up and down the highways or in neighborhoods. No grid to maintain, no fleet of power repair trucks to put fuel in and maintain. Oh now that would be green energy. Wouldn’t it.

  2. Even when we vote the liberals out of Ontario I firmly believe neither of the other political parties will reverse these policies. We will be told it would be to expensive to reverse. I believe a great start would be if we all took a baseball bat to our smart meters.

  3. In the absence of utility scale energy storage, wind energy is not a power source.

    When connected to the grid, fossil fuel plants will have to ramp and cycle excessively to provide the added firming capacity to maintain stability. Studies now show that the increased firming capacity to balance wind energy consumes about as much fuel as wind proponents claim to save. Engineers have come to understand the following:

    • They are not environmentally friendly.
    • They do not reduce greenhouse gases.
    • In addition to being very expensive, they are an add-on to our system for providing eclectic power.
    • They are a net job loser.
    • The annoyance and ill effects they cause is for nothing in return.
    • Large numbers of birds and bats are dying for nothing.
    • They cannot and will not replace coal.
    • Coal and nuclear are regulated off the grid, replaced by Natural Gas.
    • You cannot trade the health of wind turbine abutters for those affected by coal.
    • The high cost will not decrease in time. Our regulators recently approved a 37% rate increase.
    • The money wasted on wind can better be spent researching for real alternatives.

    Tell our political leaders and leaders of environmental groups to STOP.

    Wind is not the answer!

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