TORONTO, March 14, 2014 /CNW/ - Environmental Defence released a study
today with new data that shows the relatively small role that renewable
energy plays in Ontario residential electricity bills. Your Home Electricity Bill: A Study on the Costs in Ontario shows that just 9 per cent of the average residential bill is for
non-hydro renewable energy.
"As the new kid on the block, renewable energy is all too often blamed
for rising electricity costs. The truth is renewables play a fairly
small role in Ontarians' electricity bills today," said Gillian
McEachern of Environmental Defence. "But they have significant health
and environmental benefits that aren't reflected in our monthly bills."
Over the last 10 years, Ontario has built a more reliable energy system
and removed polluting coal from the mix. These changes brought
benefits, including a more stable electricity grid, fewer smog days,
and savings in hospital costs associated with coal pollution.
Using data by Power Advisory LLC, a respected independent energy
consultation firm, the report calculates how much non-hydro renewable
energy contributes today, and in the future, to the average residential
electricity bill. The report illustrates that while electricity bills
are expected to increase, much of this increase is due to the
expiration of a rebate that was introduced to offset the price of HST -
not the sources of electricity.
The report also shows that rather than being at the high end of the
spectrum, Ontario falls in the middle range of North American costs for
residential electricity bills. And it illustrates how energy efficiency
can help offset projected rises in electricity rates.
This year, wind, solar and bioenergy will be $5, $5 and $2 respectively
on the average bill, or 9 per cent of the total.
In 10 years, wind, solar and bioenergy will be $11, $10 and $4
respectively on the average bill, or 16 per cent of the total. By 2032,
renewable energy's relative contribution declines to 12 per cent.
Residential electricity costs in Toronto and Ottawa rank in the middle
of major North American cities, and are cheaper than cities in Alberta,
Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia.
Between now and 2024, the average bill - based on a constant amount of
electricity use of 800 kWh/household - will increase by approximately
15 per cent (in real 2014 dollars.) This is largely due to the end of a
rebate introduced to offset the cost of HST.
If a household reduced electricity use by 20 per cent, the average bill
will be $140 in 2024 (in real 2014 dollars), compared to $137 this
year. This shows that energy conservation and energy efficiency can
largely offset increases in electricity costs.
"Conserving energy and investing in renewable energy are good for both
the environment and our wallets," said Gillian McEachern. "Saving
energy is the cheapest option for customers. And we're unlikely to see
a spike in the price of sunshine, which makes renewable energy a more
predictable bet than fossil fuels or nuclear, which can come with
unexpected cost increases."
The report recommends that governments help homes become more energy
efficient, adopt high quality standards for energy efficiency, require
mandatory home energy audits and provide low-income households with
assistance on energy bills.
Your Home Electricity Bill: A Study on the Costs in Ontario can be downloaded at www.environmentaldefence.ca/electricitybill
Printer-ready graphics from the report can be downloaded at http://environmentaldefence.ca/monthly-residential-bill-images
About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is Canada's most effective environmental action
organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business
and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.
SOURCE: Environmental Defence
For further information:
or to arrange an interview, please contact: Stephanie Kohls, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext 232; 416-885-7847 (cell); firstname.lastname@example.org