Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday January 25, 2017
Why Kathleen Wynne might tackle hydro delivery charges to cut electricity bills
Premier Kathleen Wynne is signalling she may soon try to tackle the sky-high delivery charges that many Ontarians see on their hydro bills.
With her government bogged down by complaints about soaring electricity prices, Wynne and her advisers are scrambling to find ways to bring bills down.
Wynne telegraphed that delivery charges are in her sights during a speech last week, mentioning a letter she received from an Ottawa Valley man she named only as Lloyd,
“He wrote to me about delivery charges that make up 50 per cent of his bill,” Wynne told a business audience in downtown Toronto. She said Lloyd recently installed energy-efficient windows, and “feels like he’s being punished for the investments that he made.”
Wynne is phoning some of the people who write to her about electricity, including Lloyd.
“He has every right to be angry; that shouldn’t be happening,” she said. “At the end of the day, what people like Lloyd should be paying for is the electricity that they use.”
On average, the delivery charge makes up nearly 30 per cent of a typical residential hydro bill, but the amount varies widely from place to place. Different local hydro distribution companies charge different rates, unlike the cost of electricity generation, which is standard for all residential hydro customers in the province.
A typical Hydro One customer in a medium-density area pays nearly $68 a month for delivery — more than double the delivery charge for a Thunder Bay Hydro customer. The difference adds up to $409 a year.
Questioned by reporters after her speech, Wynne affirmed that delivery charges are on her radar.
“The delivery charge is something that comes up repeatedly,” she said. “I am hearing it consistently as I talk to people across the province.” (Source: CBC) http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-hydro-delivery-charge-1.3948106
Maeanwhile, the Premier posted an open letter on Facebook Sunday attacking television personality Kevin O’Leary for erroneously claiming Ontario attracts lower auto investment than Michigan. (Source: Toronto Star)