After meeting with a local woman today about her frustrations with high hydro bills, NDP leader Andrea Horwath was quite candid with her thoughts on Ontario’s hydro issues.
“There’s no doubt that there needs to be a complete overhaul, Horwath said in a phone interview.
She takes much issue with the growing privatization of Ontario’s hydro.
The Liberal government has been selling off Hydro One and dumping hydro to Americans at Ontario’s cost.
“Ontarians are paying to light up the Manhattan Skyline,” she said. “That shouldn’t be allowed to happen.”
As a matter of fact Michigan and New York State in 2015 alone, bought more than 22.6 billion kilowatt hours of electricity – enough to power 2.5 million homes – at a price of 2.3 cents per kilowatt hour – generating a loss of more than $1.7 billion for Ontario hydro customers.
Horwath continued to cite Manitoba Hydro and Hydro Quebec, both 100 per cent crown owned, as models for a better hydro system.
In Ontario in 2015, the average HOEP was 2.36 cents per kilowatt hour, while the IESO paid wind producers as much as 13 cents per kilowatt hour. The remaining 11-cent difference was then passed on to the consumer.
“It’s pitting producer against producer. Farmer against farmer,” Horwath says.
Solar producers, many of which signed contracts with the government for as long as 20 or 30 years, were paid as much as 80 cents per kilowatt hour for the energy they produced, despite the fact that fair market value for this energy was the same 2.36 cents per kilowatt hour. Here, too, the 78-cent difference was passed on to consumers.
So while Ontario customers are required to pay for producing green electricity, utility providers in the United States are able to access this same energy source for a fraction of the cost.
When it was commented that Ontario seems to now be a have-not province, Horwath agreed when it comes to hydro.