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Electricity prices could rise 46 percent in 5 years: Auditor General

Tuesday, December 06, 2011   by: SooToday.com Staff

NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE AUDITOR GENERAL OF ONTARIO

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Electricity-consumer protection changing: Auditor General

TORONTO - The Ontario Energy Board’s powers to protect the interests of Ontario’s 4.7 million  electricity consumers are more limited than they were a decade ago, Auditor General Jim McCarter says in his 2011 Annual Report.

“Because we all use electricity, and because the sector operates in a near monopoly, effective oversight by the Ontario Energy Board has historically been crucial,” McCarter said [Monday] following the release of the report.

“However, the board is limited in what it can do to ensure the interests of consumers are protected, particularly with regard to the pricing of electricity.”

The board is charged with overseeing the province’s electricity sector.

Electricity prices for the average Ontario consumer have risen about 65 percent since the restructuring of the electricity sector in 1999, and they are projected to rise another 46 percent in the next five years.

In light of this, the role of the board to protect consumers while setting rates that provide a reasonable rate of return to the industry is all the more important.

Following are some of the Auditor General’s more significant findings:

• The board is responsible to ensure that electricity bills are just and reasonable. However, it currently has jurisdiction only over about half of the total charges for electricity on a typical bill. The board can only set rates for nuclear and some hydro power generated produced by Ontario Power Generation, along with transmission, distribution, and certain other charges. The board has no say over the charges that comprise the other half of a typical bill.

• In the last five years, the overwhelming majority of the 17,000 consumer complaints to the board related to electricity retailers. About 15 percent of residential customers, looking for price stability on their power bills, signed fixed-price contracts with retailers, but now could be paying 35 percent to 65 percent more for their power than if they had not signed contracts. However, while the board can follow up on complaints, it has taken only limited action with respect to this issue.

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Comments
5
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
beak 12/6/2011 3:01:37 PM Report

perfect
Hamguy 12/6/2011 5:56:42 PM Report

On one hand the Govt say they want seniors to be able to stay in their own homes as long as possible, and on the other hand they allow things like this to happen. A increase of this magnitude will force a lot of us seniors out of our homes. That is the bottom line.
copper4 12/6/2011 10:58:19 PM Report

am i the only one who read the story in the sault star yesterday about OPG< the canadian government gave OPG almost a billion dollars thats right a billion dollars in total for the past 3 years to keep coal fired plants idling in case we need more power in ontario. i am pretty damn sure myself and fellow taxpayers didnt need a billion dollars worth of power, no wonder our hydro bills are skyrocketing, those smart meters was just a cash grab for the corporations who sell the power to us. they dont benefit me one bit, like iam not going to eat in morning and cook when i get home from work, how stupid was that bs. and how about the biggest blunder, paying corporations 80 cents a killowatt for power while it is sold on market for 7 cents. smart business people in our government, now the consumer pays the tax increase to cover this ridiculous shortfall and our power rates go up 46 percent in 5 years. how green do you want to be and at what cost. we could have put that billion and the billions from our great submarine deal and the gun registry deal into education, jobs. heathcare. affordable housing. and oh yah cheaper power rates. we need politicians that can actually think for themselves but i know i will never see that in my lifetime. they are to busy paying off the corporations that helped them get elected by giving them huge tax breaks while the average joe just keeps paying more and more every year.
copper4 12/6/2011 11:04:45 PM Report

am i the only one who read the story in the sault star yesterday about OPG< the canadian government gave OPG almost a billion dollars thats right a billion dollars in total for the past 3 years to keep coal fired plants idling in case we need more power in ontario. i am pretty damn sure myself and fellow taxpayers didnt need a billion dollars worth of power, no wonder our hydro bills are skyrocketing, those smart meters was just a cash grab for the corporations who sell the power to us. they dont benefit me one bit, like iam not going to eat in morning and cook when i get home from work, how stupid was that bs. and how about the biggest blunder, paying corporations 80 cents a killowatt for solar power while it is sold on market for 7 cents. smart business people in our government, now the consumer pays the tax increase to cover this ridiculous shortfall and our power rates go up 46 percent in 5 years. how green do you want to be and at what cost. we could have put that billion and the billions from our great submarine deal and the gun registry deal into education, jobs. heathcare. affordable housing. and oh yah cheaper power rates. we need politicians that can actually think for themselves but i know i will never see that in my lifetime. they are to busy paying off the corporations that helped them get elected by giving them huge tax breaks while the average joe just keeps paying more and more every year.
l&s campbell 12/8/2011 7:40:49 PM Report

Give me a break, Does the elected and big business not hear what the people are saying? I guess we have to sit in the dark because we cannot afford our power bills, well they make millions off us! We have wind farms and electric making rapids that should cover our electric needs and then some. Yet we still have to pay, because somebody thinks we have deep pockets. Mine is empty yet I go into debt every month to pay for my necessities. Don't believe me? talk to my bank, they didn't loose money now did they!
Comments
5
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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