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Hydro plan cost at $45B to save ratepayers $24B

The province’s budget watchdog says the Liberal government’s ‘Fair Hydro Plan’ will cost $45 billion to save ratepayers $24 billion on electricity bills – a net cost of $21 billion to Ontario residents over the approximate 30 years of the plan.

“This morning’s report by Ontario’s Financial Accountability Officer confirms many of the numbers in the cabinet document leaked a couple weeks ago,” said Todd Smith, PC energy critic and Prince Edward Hastings MPP.

The $45 billion includes the cost of funding the eight per cent rebate that started in January, but also assumes balanced budgets for the next three decades. The Financial Accountability Office states that if the government has to fund that rebate through debt, the cost could balloon up to $93 billion.

The plan to cut bills by 17 per cent (on average) has to pass before summer break begins June 1 if relief is to come into play as promised.

The cost of paying back the debt, with interest is to go back onto ratepayers’ bills for about 20 years starting in 2028 as a ‘Clean Energy Adjustment’.

Electricity bills have almost doubled in the past decade, due partly to green energy initiatives, and the government promised to cut hydro bills by speading out the costs.

MPP Todd Smith,

Smith said the report shows hydro rates would start to increase by 6.8 per cent per year after the next election and would increase 12 per cent per year by the mid-2020s.

“This is shocking. The Liberals have known all along that hydro bills will increase next year, then by a whopping 12 per cent year over year starting in 2028,” he said. “To make matters worse, the Liberals are bringing back the debt retirement charge which will cost Ontarians roughly four times more than the old debt retirement charge was when it last appeared on bills.”

The plan is currently before committee at the Legislature.

“We heard testimony yesterday that this plan was rushed out because the government needed something fast, not because they were interested in fixing the mess they made in the system,” Smith said. “We also heard testimony that electricity customers are going to be paying on their bills to advertise the government’s plan. I think it’s up to the people to decide who the Liberal government is really trying to help here.”

The hydro plan lowers time-of-use rates by removing a portion of the global adjustment charge consumers pay for above market rates to power producers. For the next 10 years, a new entity overseen by Ontario Power Generation will take on debt to pay that difference.

Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk said that means there will be no impact on Ontario’s net debt (currently approximately $312 billion), or annual surplus/deficit. She said the hydro legislation “sets a dangerous precedent.”

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Paul Cole says:

    The Harris PC government initiated this problem back in the day now they rip the Liberal plan (which is also bad) But Todd and his PC opposition offer NO plan what so ever.

  2. Mark says:

    Where is David Norman when we really need his insight?? Dearly missed.

  3. Fred says:

    I guess the alternative would be to go with the Conservatives plan. Oh! What plan? They just deregulate and walk away.

  4. Jim says:

    OK Todd. We know were getting ripped, but what’s your plan.
    Rates doubled in ten years, how about county water and sewage rate payers.

  5. Whatever says:


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