Tim Hudak admits Tories couldn’t lower electricity rates
Railing against rising electricity prices under the Liberal government, Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak admitted a Tory government could not promise lower rates.
“The answer is no on that,” he told reporters Tuesday, a day after Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli unveiled a new energy plan for the province that will see residential hydro bills rise 42 per cent in five years.
“It’s a matter of limiting the damage that these failed policies are costing our province,” Hudak added, taking a shot at the blueprint that suspends plans for two new nuclear reactors, boosts conservation and adds wind and solar power.
Chiarelli predicted Monday that electricity prices will actually be lower than the Liberal government promised in its last energy plan in 2010, with average rate hikes of 2.8 per cent over the next 20 years, down from the previous 3.4 per cent forecast.
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That was accomplished by shelving plans to spend $15 billion on two new reactors at Ontario Power Generation’s Darlington station and by cutting green energy payouts by roughly $5 billion.
Under the Liberal changes, the average residential electricity bill will go up $12 monthly next year to $137, and hit $178 a month by 2016.
Hudak said Ontario would be better off avoiding more wind and solar power, for which the Liberals pay higher prices to producers, and building two new reactors at Darlington.
“If you actually make sensible investments on energy that you’re going to have lower rates than you would if you doubled down on failed green energy experiments,” Hudak added, charging that more wind turbines would make rural areas resemble “a giant pin cushion.” (Source: Toronto Star)