The real reason for double hydro bills

TORONTO, Sept. 30, 2011 /CNW/ -

The Enron Con

Why have Hydro bills in Ontario doubled? Why is electricity almost double Manitoba's and Quebec's Rates? It's not a mystery. Hydro deregulation, an Enron designed electricity market and a "for profit" electricity system is the real reason for ballooning Hydro bills.  That's right, the Enron con is still alive and well in Ontario.

In the leadership debate, Tim Hudak was very disingenuous when he said he'd roll back Hydro rates and that "higher energy bills kill jobs" and that he wanted to "get electricity rates under control" He talked about how high hydro rates "affect seniors, small business and shift workers".

Looks like Hudak will have to repeal Harris's Bill 35. That's the bill that broke up Ontario Hydro, introduced a deregulated electricity market and changed the whole Hydro system from "non-profit" to "for profit".  The big promise of the Tories then was that "Deregulation would lead to lower rates." Under Bill 35, the Conservative party added to your hydro bill, profits to generators, profits to distributors, profits to retailers, dividends to investors and commissions to commodities brokers. Public Power's main goal of service was replaced with the main goal of profits.

The Tory party also privatized the profits at the Bruce nuclear plant but kept public the debt that appears on your hydro bill. If Hudak really wants to get Hydro rates under control then he will also have to close the Enron designed electricity market known as the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO).  Enron was the main player on the Tory electricity market design committee. Since the Enron fraud, many States have since have closed their electricity markets. Why is Ontario's electricity market still open?

None of the party leaders are discussing the real reasons for "double the hydro rates".

Smart meters

More than $1Billion has been spent installing and implementing smart meters. The main promise of smart meters was that they "Will save you money". If you Google "Smart meters will save you money you get 2,310,000 hits. Smart meters were supposed to be a panacea for conservation. Peoples bills have doubled and there has been negligible increase in conservation.

The Smart meters only purpose is a cover for a massive rate hike in electricity rates and to funnel profits into the phony electricity market.

Hudak says he'll roll back high Hydro rates by eliminating the HST. That's like giving an aspirin to a cancer patient. It won't help.

Jobs and Ontario's competitive advantage

Hudak said 300,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost. How many jobs have been lost to electricity deregulation (Harris's bill 35)? "For-profit" power, deregulation and the Enron IESO market have hit farmers, small scale manufacturing and small business very hard in this province. These are the people who are the real job creators.

For 95 years we had "At cost", "non-profit" Publicly owned Hydro in Ontario. Profits were returned to small business, farmers, manufacturers and the public in the form of lower and stable hydro rates. With all it's warts, Public Power was much, much better than the system we now have. In 1906 the Tory, Sir Adam Beck, backed by Business interests who were sick of getting gouged by the power companies ( Just like today) won the battle for Public Power and made Ontario the economic powerhouse of Canada.

Public Power was our "Competitive advantage".

The Solution

HST cuts won't fix ballooning Hydro bills. Closing the phony IESO electricity market, ending deregulation and ending "for profit" Hydro will. If we want a jobs in Ontario plan, Public Power has to be part of that plan.

Let's hear from all three leaders on the real reasons for high Hydro bills this election.

(The OEC and their partners stopped the sale of Hydro One by Mike Harris in court in 2002)


For further information:

Paul Kahnert
Former spokesperson 2001 to 2010
Ontario Electricity Coalition

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