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Hydro bills set to soar — thanks to Dalton and his FIT contracts

Gord Young — The Nugget — January 16, 2013

NORTH BAY – Hydro bills in Ontario are set to soar and there is little that can be done except to mitigate the damage, says Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli.

“Nobody has a silver bullet. Your energy bill is not going to go down,” Fedeli told a town hall meeting Tuesday at the Royal Canadian Legion on First Avenue.

The Progressive Conservative energy critic hosted the meeting, which attracted a largely partisan group of more than 100 people, to explain to Nipssing residents why electricity bills have doubled over the last nine years.

Fedeli said the auditor general has predicted prices will rise 46% by 2015. And he blamed the Green Energy Act, which has resulted in “rich” subsidies for renewable energy projects and huge costs related to the generation of surplus power.

Fedeli said those costs and subsidies are funded through a global adjustment fee included on hydro bills, which has nothing to do with the customer’s usage of electricity.

“It’s on your bill. You just don’t see it. It’s buried in your bill,” said Fedeli, referring the the fact global adjustment isn’t broken out as a line item on most residential bills.

The meeting heard from John Spencer, vice-president of operations for PGI Fabrene Inc. in North Bay, who said the the global adjustment fee on the company’s hydro bill has increased to about $75,000 monthly, up from about $5,000 each month in 2005.

Spencer warned that Fabrene and many other businesses will close if prices continue to rise as predicted.

Fedeli said the province has inked 20-year contracts with private companies for the supply of renewable energy, especially wind, guaranteeing them subsidized prices and a promise to purchase.

Currently, he said wind projects generate about 1,700 kilowatt hours of electricity daily. But Fedeli said that figure is expected to reach 10,000 kWh per day in 2015.

He said subsidizing those projects will be costly. But Fedeli said the “real cost” is related to surplus power.

He said the majority of wind power is generated at night, which often results in a surplus in Ontario. And because the province is obligated to purchase wind power generated, Fedeli said Ontario ends up paying Quebec and U.S. states to take it off our hands. He said that’s cost about $2.4 billion since the Green Energy Act was introduced.

 (To continue reading, click here)

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