The ever increasing cost of electricity has got the attention of a few council members.
A resolution by Ward 2 Susan Myers and seconded by ward mate Sandra Hollingsworth is calling for the Mayor to a pen a letter to the Ontario Minister of Energy to explain and justify why Ontario is listed as the highest cost of electricity over every other Province.
City Council recognizes the high cost of electricity and it being a financial
burden to the residents; and electricity bills for Sault Ste. Marie residents continue to increase annually at rates significantly above inflation rates; and for an average residential customer using 800 kWh per month the cost of electricity increased May 1, 2015 by approximately 7.5% and again on April 11, 2016.
The blame falls squarely on the Ontario Liberals and the Ontario Energy Board. The local utility (PUC) collects the money but only contains 18 cents out of every dollar customers spend. The rest goes to the Ontario Energy Board.
Combined with the elimination of the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit (OCEB) rebate, the effect to Sault Ste. Marie consumers has been approximately 26% increase in the electricity portion of their bills over the last 12 months, an increase of 21.7% on their total bill, the reso;ition reads.
Many customers complain about the electricity rates skyrocketing in the last few years. The increase is especially hard for low income families and seniors to cope. Many utility bills today resemble a rent or mortgage payment.
18% of the total electricity bill, the balance of which is money that is collected
by PUC and turned over to provincial or federal agencies (HST), the largest
component being the cost of electricity at approximately 60% of the total bill;
The cost of electricity in the province of Ontario is set by the Ontario
Energy Board; and the regulating body – Ontario Energy Board – typically increases the
cost of electricity on May 1 st and November 1 st each year; and
“Consumers in Sault Ste. Marie continue to be adversely impacted by
the ever-increasing financial burden of continuously increasing electricity costs” reads the resolution.
Myers and Hollingsworth want the Mayor’s office to write and get answers from the ministry,
expressing our strong objection to the unacceptable and ongoing increases of energy costs, and Further that City Council does call upon the Minister to demonstrate how deregulation of the electricity industry is benefiting electricity customers in Northern Ontario and when customers might see relief to these growing costs.
City council sits for their regular council meeting Monday at 4:30pm.