TORONTO, Nov. 14, 2014 /CNW/ - The Society of Energy Professionals thanked the Clark task force for its work and noted its disagreement with some of the recommendations made in its interim report, which was issued yesterday.
The Society will urge decision-makers to prove the value of each of Mr. Clark's recommendations to Ontarians before it is implemented. On energy, The Society suggests that the criteria should include price, reliability, service and the broader public interest.
Representing 8,000 energy professionals, including engineers, scientists and other professionals at Ontario Power Generation and Hydro One, The Society's members are concerned about recommendations relating to a breakup, followed by private sector involvement in Hydro One's power distribution system, and the splitting Ontario Power Generation's nuclear and non-nuclear operations.
"The Society disagrees with a breakup of Hydro One and privatization of their distribution assets," said Scott Travers, president of The Society. The Society believes that such a strategy will lead to higher costs for Ontario ratepayers.
The Society is concerned that key efficiencies generated by consolidation of power distribution and transmission will be lost through the breakup of Hydro One as the two functions are separated, leading to duplication of effort. The Society is also concerned about both the financial and reliability impact of the proposed privatization of the distribution function. Northern communities are especially vulnerable in this proposed model because the greatest profits will be realized in the south. Each of these factors is likely to lead to higher prices, reduced reliability and poorer service.
On OPG, the Society shares Mr. Clark's interest in a "laser-like focus" on refurbishing Darlington Nuclear. However, the recommendation that a reorganization of OPG be conducted to split the nuclear and non-nuclear operations causes "grave concern," to Society members, said Travers.
"A long and costly reorganization of OPG is just being completed," noted Joe Fierro, The Society's OPG Local Vice President. "To undo that work and go through another extensive reorganization at a time when professionals need to be focused on the highly complex Darlington refurbishment is a risky proposition."
Finally, The Society agrees with Mr. Clark that the appropriate venue for discussing pension-related matters is at the bargaining table, as Premier Wynne agreed during the spring election and has reiterated since.
"While The Society does not agree with all of his recommendations, we are appreciative of Mr. Clark and the other members of his task force for the meaningful dialogue they engaged in with The Society," said Travers. "We look forward to participating in the next phase of the task force's work."
SOURCE: The Society of Energy Professionals