May 11, 2017
By Michael Kramer
Electricity users will enjoy lower hydro bills for the next 10 years – but the province says we’ll then pay the price for that decrease – for the following 20 years.
Ontario electricity bills have roughly doubled in the last decade – sparking anger among consumers – and leading to plummeting approval ratings for Premier Kathleen Wynne.
But today, ten weeks after announcing a plan to lower hydro bills – the Liberal government introduced its legislation to lower time-of-use rates, take the cost of low-income and rural support programs off bills, and introduce new social programs.
Time-of-use rates will drop – through a plan to remove a portion of the global adjustment from hydro bills – a charge users pay for above-market rates to power producers.
And for the next 10 years, a new entity overseen by Ontario Power Generation will pay that difference – and take on debt to do so.
Then, it’s time to pay the piper.
The cost of paying back that debt – which the government says will be up to $28 billion – will go back onto ratepayers’ bills for the next 20 years as a “Clean Energy Adjustment.”