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County hydro bills at least double rest of Canada

How do Ontario’s electricity bills compare with the rest of Canada? Using Ontario’s average monthly consumption of 750 kWh, I calculated post-tax electricity bills for several areas of Ontario, and for the nine other provincial capitals.

In Ontario: Ottawa $134 monthly, Toronto $150, Hydro One medium-density areas (e.g. Picton) $161, Hydro One low-density areas (e.g. rural PEC) $192. These bills are after the recently announced 8 per cent PST rebate, estimated by the government to average $11 monthly.

Other provinces: Quebec $63 (lowest) to P.E.I. $145 (highest).

To simplify comparisons with Ontario, I combined the nine provincial bills into a single rest-of-Canada (RoC) bill, weighting each bill by the province’s population. The RoC bill is $80, and can be considered to be the typical electricity bill outside Ontario, for Ontario’s average consumption.

The Ontario bills are greater than the RoC bill by $54 (Ottawa) to $112 (Hydro One low-density). All PEC bills ($161 or $192) are at least double the RoC bill. The differentials increase as consumption increases beyond 750 kWh.

The significance? Nobody credible anticipates a quick fix for Ontario’s high rates, so it’s possible that these differentials will persist for a decade or more. If you live in Picton and had an extra $81 monthly to invest in your RRSP at five per cent interest, you’d accumulate $12K in 10 years. If you’re rural PEC, it would be $17K. That’s what you’re giving up by having to pay Ontario’s exorbitant electricity rates.

Gary Mooney
PEC

Filed Under: Letters and OpinionNews from Everywhere Else

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  1. Emily says:

    Chris; does WPD have a signed contract for the 27 turbines?

  2. Emily says:

    Thanks Gary for the information on this.

  3. Gary Mooney says:

    Emily, I didn’t write the headline, but it’s OK if you read the article carefully.

    I reported the range of bills, from Quebec at $65 to P.E.I. at $145.

    In order to have a single bill for the nine provinces other than Ontario (which I called the Rest of Canada bill), I averaged all nine bills, taking into account each province’s population.

    This average bill, representing the typical bill in the Rest of Canada is $80. It’s one representative bill, instead of nine.

    The County bills for the amount consumed are either $161 or $192, each of which is more than double the typical (or average) bill in the Rest of Canada.

  4. Chris Keen says:

    Wynne’s latest move is only partially good news for the County as it relates only to NEW wind/solar energy contracts not those already signed.

  5. Gary says:

    Wow! Liberals scrap any further contracts for wind and solar. There is a God!

  6. Michael Reagan says:

    Here’s today’s release from the province’s Financial Accountability Officer about how much extra we’re all paying.

    http://www.fao-on.org/en/Blog/Publications/hespending

  7. Susan says:

    Until you look at the unreliability and back up power required.

  8. hockeynan says:

    Therefore wind at 11 cents locked in for 20 years doesn’t seem to bad

  9. Sam says:

    Still think that Nuclear is the low-cost option?…

    “Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is seeking permission from the Ontario Energy Board to increase the price of its nuclear power by 11% per year for each of the next ten years.
    OPG wants to raise its price for nuclear power from 5.9 cents per kWh in 2016 to 16.8 cents per kWh in 2026. That means the rate in 2026 will be almost triple (2.8 times greater) today’s price.
    Nuclear costs going up and up
    According to OPG, the price increases are needed to finance the continued operation of its high-cost Pickering Nuclear Station and to re-build the Darlington Nuclear Station.

    OPG’s proposed price increases are based on the assumption that its $12.8 billion Darlington Re-Build Project will be completed on time and on budget. Of course, every nuclear project in Ontario’s history has been massively over budget – on average by 2.5 times. If history repeats itself, the price of nuclear power will rise by much more than three times by 2026.”

    Information sourced from: OPG , “EB-2016-0152 Nuclear Rate Smoothing”, (September 23, 2016) and September 23, 2016 oral presentation to the Ontario Energy Board by Chris Fralick, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Randy Pugh, Director Regulatory Affairs, OPG.

  10. Dennis Fox says:

    I think it is safe to say that we already know that we are paying far too much for hydro. For me the discussion was about whether we paid(as the title states) “at least double rest of Canada.” I believe it is now clear, from Gary’s last comment, that we don’t – making the article moot.

  11. Emily says:

    Well it does state by the header that the County pays at least twice the rest of Canada. Do we?

  12. Borys Holowacz says:

    Gary Mooney’s breakdown shows that a rural PEC resident using 750 kwh of electricity in on month pays $192.00 while a person living in Quebec pays $63.00.

    That is enough for me to conclude that I am paying far too much for electricity.

  13. Dennis Fox says:

    Gary – you better read the title on this article – it definitely states – “County hydro bills at least double rest of Canada.” Gary – just to clarify with you, my purpose for commenting on this article was to only question what the title states – BUT now even you are agreeing with me – not all of Canada! So no need to take offense and cut off the discussion. Heck, you are the one who wrote the article – it doesn’t look good on you when you act in this manner just because someone questions your numbers and conclusions. Isn’t that one of the expectations when submitting letters to a social media site – or do you want to hear from only those who blindly agree with you? Now you can have the last word….. maybe.

  14. Gary Mooney says:

    Dennis, I did not say that County residents are paying “twice the rate of any other Canadian”. I said that they are paying twice the bill of a TYPICAL resident in the other nine provinces, where “typical” is determined as the population-weighted average of those provincial bills. Quebec contributes more to the typical bill than P.E.I.because its population is greater. My last word with you on this article.

  15. Dennis Fox says:

    Gary – the only thing I am questioning are your numbers and methodology of calculating. To date you have done exactly as I have – meaning to “Google” your questions and then interpret the info the best you can. I am questioning your conclusions and to date, you have not “proven” it to be right. What I am trying to bring to this discussion is an unbiased point of view wanting facts before jumping to the wrong conclusions – which is something you at times have difficulty with. However, we can agree that the hydro rates are ridiculous and the government is to blame. I am not going to play the part of the poor County victim who is paying twice the rate of any other Canadian (as you claim), just because it fits with your mentality and politics.

  16. Doris Lane says:

    Both water and hydro bills are high in Picton
    Water is out of this world and council still wants to make improvements to filtration plant so it will look better who cares what it looks like
    I would just like to use the water–not fit to drink not fit to bath in –only good for flusing the toilet
    For September I pay around $600 for water and $600 for hydro and a $2000 tax bill.

  17. Gary Mooney says:

    Sam, from the Auditor-General’s report for 2014, the production cost of hydro power was 4.8 cents per kWH, nuclear 6.2 cents, wind 12.0 cents, gas/oil 15.3 cents (very high gas prices that year), solar 49.1 cents. Nuclear is about half the cost of wind per kWh.

    For County customers using 750 kWh per month, electricity generation is charged at an average of 11.6 cents per kWh (including tax). Delivery + regulatory is charged at 9.8 cents per KWH in Picton and 14.0 cents in rural PEC.

    Dennis, you’re either in denial, or prefer to believe the Minister of Energy. You can confirm my calculations from info online by googling such phrases as “sample electricity bill” for a given provincial capital or “electricity tariff” for a particular province, or by visiting the website of the electricity utility.

  18. kevin says:

    Chris, thanks for the explanation. I support your comments, in turn supported by facts. That’s what we need more of.

  19. kevin says:

    Ontario has such a surplus of energy, we are selling it to the Americans, at a premium. But that isn’t reflected on our hydro bills, and I’d like to see where the consumer actually benefits from selling the surplus off. I for one would like a credit on my hydro bill.

  20. Emily says:

    Growth of manufacturing business in Ontario is declining rapidly because of energy costs. As well labour costs which need to increase in order to pay the cost of living increases due to energy. It is a mad circle! In the County urban growth is non existent because of out of control water charges and development fees. It is a fine mess we find ourselves in. I didn’t even touch on the $300 Billion all of Ontarians owe.

  21. Dennis Fox says:

    Gary – Thanks for your time and effort in this. It is my mistake – the County pays twice as much – not uses twice as much. However; as you point out the numbers and the methodology are of your creation. I don’t believe anyone questions the high bills we are receiving here in the County, but I’m not convinced that we are paying twice what other Canadians are. I just need more proof than what has been provided. Thanks again.

  22. Sam says:

    Interesting that Quebec has the lowest power prices. They have almost as much installed wind energy capacity as Ontario and more than any other province. How can they have wind power and low prices? Easy! They have no nuclear generators. But ultimately, with delivery charges accounting for 2/3 of our power bills, the choice of source isn’t that influential on the cost. Even if we scrap everything and just buy power from Quebec it won’t reduce our monthly bills significantly. Hydro One Networks will still get their delivery charges. Finally, our current “power surplus” will soon be a power deficit once Pickering Nuclear is decommissioned. It is only the shortsighted who claim that we need no new energy sources.

  23. Gary Mooney says:

    Dennis,re your questions about the numbers:
    1. The source is me, looking up electricity rates for each and every province and reproducing sample bills for capital cities.
    2. For all bills, the consumption used is the monthly average for residential consumers in Ontario over a full year. Some customers will use less on average and pay less, others more — especially if electric heating or lots of air conditioning.
    3. I didn’t say that the County uses twice as much power. I said that, for 750 kWh, County residents pay twice as much as the typical bill across Canada for that amount.
    3. My calculations use rates across Canada as of Aug 1, 2016, so are the most up to date. There have been changes this year in most provinces, including significant reductions in provinces using fossil fuels. I included sales taxes specific to the particular provinces.
    4. The site you found by googling is probably the one where people submit the amount of their bills for their own usage. I calculated bills for a specific amount of power.
    5. QC, AB, MB and BC are now all below $80 monthly for 750 kWh.
    6. Note: In PEC, if you use no power at all, you’ll pay $34 monthly in Picton or $47 in rural areas

  24. Gary says:

    All utilities are out of hand and we are fortunate natural gas has been low, however now rising. Received my water bill today. Highest ever even with conservation and I can now state I pay more for water annually than I do for property taxes in Picton!

  25. Mark says:

    If you have a marketer energy contract the global adjustment charge is shown on your bill. Chris is right as the charge is enormous!

  26. Chris Keen says:

    FYI:

    “Over the last decade, Ontario customers have paid $6.3 billion to cover the cost of selling high-priced electricity to customers outside of the province, according to a new study by the Consumer Policy Institute. A majority of those costs – $5.8 billion – have come since 2009, as demand for electricity in Ontario has fallen, while more generation capacity continues to be added, creating a growing surplus that gets dumped at below-cost prices in places like New York and Michigan.

    Ontario’s electricity consumers end up paying the premium between what Queen’s Park has promised to pay generators through long-term contracts and what that power is worth on the electricity market. That premium is paid each month through a consumer-funded charge known as the Global Adjustment, which has increased, on average, 20% annually over the last 5 years.”

    Wynne refuses to allow the Global Adjustment figure to appear on consumer hydro bills because she knows the blowback if this figure were known would be enormous!

    The rest of the article is here:

    https://cpi.probeinternational.org/2016/09/20/ontario-electricity-customers-have-paid-more-than-6-billion-to-dump-surplus-high-priced-power-study/

    Read it and weep!

  27. Fred says:

    Foreign owned Wind Machine companies laugh all the way to the bank!

  28. Sue3 says:

    It’s not just the county. There are a number of social media sites where people have been posting their actual bills. If you are in rural Ontario, in a low density area, the total price seems to be averaging approximately 28 cents per kWh. Obviously, a large portion of that is the delivery charge. If you take this total price and compare it with other provinces and with the states, we are definitely the highest.

  29. Dennis Fox says:

    While the issue of water rates is totally off topic from this article, I do agree that it is a huge bill for people to pay -just like hydro is. In both cases the cause is the same – hydro from an out of touch idiotic provincial government and the cost of water is inflicted by a similarly described municipal government. It is hard to believe that such people got there because we elected them to solve such problems, but instead make them worse with every passing budget.

  30. ADJ says:

    On topic with hydro rates,,the HST share being dropped is a joke! Something like $10 a month. Insulting! Do something about the delivery rate which makes up 2/3 of our bill.

  31. ADJ says:

    Water rates have been a hot topic for a long time. The only solution I can think of is Disconnect! Is it against urban regulations? Anyone investigated the idea? At one time the average house in Picton did not have utility sourced supply. Would it be possible to install a “cistern” to collect rainwater or have a bulk load delivered. This could be located in the basement or outside below surface.There are alarms to let you know the low levels.
    If space allows price out a suitable size weeping bed for disposal of waste water.Compare this to your present and future water/sewer rates…which costs more.It’s easy to follow along with the constant rate increase but senior retirees find it difficult and end up having to sell. I’d hope there are other suggestions but I don’t see a price drop in the cards. The more residents conserve the higher the rate will go.Stands to reason… they have to pay down the huge debt and interest on that sewage plant.

  32. Susan says:

    Electricity prices are driving business out of the province. It will eventually drive those with comfortable retirement income out as well. As for the water rates in Prince Edward it is ridiculous and not sustainable.

  33. lucy says:

    my water bills are higher then electricity. and they going pru we conserve. there are no rebates etc or help with PEC. they are quick to send out disconnection notices too…….. ollur rates are higher then belleville…….maybe council could help……..i realize this is about hydro but thought id mention it

  34. Dennis Fox says:

    I am in no way a fan of our provincial government nor of the Green Energy Act – however, I am questioning some of the numbers in the article above. First, there is no mention of what source these numbers came from. Secondly, just taking a look at my recent hydro bill clearly shows me that I spent more this summer, than last – perhaps the sever weather had something to do with my AC being on almost non-stop for two months?? A lot of factors go into to energy consumption – how well is your home insulated, how old is your home, etc.. Does a farming community use more hydro than an urban one per capita? I believe that we need far more information before saying The County uses twice as much hydro as anywhere else. But it does provide Todd Smith with good amo – which isn’t all bad because someone needs to wake Queen’s Park up!

    I Googled “Comparing Ontario Hydro Rates With The Other Provinces” – and while we were definitely up there with only Nova Scotia and PEI ahead, according to the site I read, we were not the highest and nor are we anywhere near doubling the others – except for Quebec. Plus, the Manitoba figure did not include GST, HST or any other tax. What I do wonder about is – why doesn’t Ontario stop all this nonsense of building IWTs and solar farms and just buy the hydro from Quebec – they have a surplus, and it is cheap? Wouldn’t this too improve our environment here?

  35. Chris Keen says:

    @Kevin – The Mayor and Council have nothing to do with Ontario’s exorbitant hydro electricity prices, they are currently the responsibility of Kathleen Wynne. Instead of treating us like idiots and refunding part of the HST, she’d do well to begin reducing costs by cancelling all outstanding “green” energy contracts since we don’t need the power. That would save billions for a start.

  36. kevin says:

    I’m interested to hear from the mayor or council after reading this.

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