To the Expositor:
Ms. Lysyk, Ontario’s Auditor General, stated unequivocally that, “the purpose for which smart meters were designed was to levy a higher rate for energy used during peak daytime hours.” That, in combination with Ontario’s Environment Commissioner Gord Miller stating last week that Ontario energy consumers should be paying four or five times more for peak energy usage was certainly not the news “hydro-bill weary” Ontarians wanted to hear! With Ontarians already paying double that of the energy cost in a lot of other provinces, along with all the extra charges like the “absurd” debt retirement charge, a four to five time increase may just be the final straw for working people and small business owners already experiencing difficulty paying the huge monthly hydro bills.
The Expositor editorial on the hydro increases (‘Hydro increases are a recipe for economic disaster,’ January 21, page 4) was quite informative, citing verified statements, facts and figures and of course political views but, as in the case of all discussions, when the topic is the cost of hydro, it offered very little in “common sense solutions!”
Firstly, Hydro One in this province has virtually no competition to keep their pricing at bay; they roam free, gouging at will and paying their CEO and top management people huge salaries.
Secondly, Hydro One is backed by the Ontario Liberals, who have a history of scandal after scandal and with Premier Wynne and Hydro One’s CEO working in partnership to come up with these hairbrained schemes, like the smart meters, no one can actually expect any real help from the government on this serious issue.
At the end of the day it comes down to: “who cares about the issue,” “who does not,” “who does it drastically affect” and “who does it not.” The rich and ultra high salary earners don’t care, and it’s clear the majority of politicians don’t, but yes, the “working poor” care, as do struggling small business owners.
Let’s look at the off-peak hours usage issue, using common sense. Most working people have to go to bed at a reasonable hour to be able to get up early for work; a lot of people work shift-work! So, you’ve just come off a 3 to 11 shift (and let’s just say drove half an hour to get home). Realistically, is what you want to do when you get home the laundry? Yeah right, the people that came up with that scheme have obviously never encountered that scenario!
Solutions will be very difficult as many of the factions involved will always try and block the other faction’s potential solution! Let’s just take the “environmental extremists” for example (who are growing in number). They will be screaming, “down with the coal fired generators, down with the nuclear plants” and in the same breath, touting statements that “any green energy projects better not displace a blade of grass or any local critters!” In this province getting workable solutions to enable the lowering of energy cost is almost a no win situation; there are just too many opposite opinions butting heads for anything to ever be accepted!
I feel the only possible solution to avert disaster from this increasing cost is major civil protest. Somehow Ontarians are going to have to get the clear message across to the Ontario Liberals that enough is enough and it is time to reduce energy costs to the consumer to that inline with the more reasonable costs in other Canadian provinces and a firm commitment to remove draconian charges, starting with the infamous debt retirement charge!
I think the most important point made in the editorial on this subject was that if “something” is not done soon to lower hydro costs we will be seeing a lot more small businesses throwing in the towel and I think a lot sooner then a lot of people may think!