Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 128: What’s the State of Repair of Toronto’s Electricity Distribution System?

Readers of this series may have noted that in my efforts to seek the assistance of the City of Toronto Ombudsman in bringing to light governance and operational deficiencies at Toronto Hydro (presented in Parts 120, 122, 123, 124), I learned that a group of Toronto Hydro retirees was on a parallel path. Part 125 of this series was the guest post authored by retired senior Toronto Hydro engineer David Grant and retired technical trades person and union activist Paul Kahnert. Since that posting, Grant, Kahnert and I have combined our efforts to investigate Toronto Hydro. Continue reading ‘Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 128: What’s the State of Repair of Toronto’s Electricity Distribution System?’ »

Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 127: Poley McPoleface

With credit to Boaty McBoatface, it’s time for Toronto to have its own Poley McPoleface.

In part 126 of this series, I introduced initial documentation of a pole being replaced as part of Toronto Hydro’s so called “aging assets” replacement program. Continue reading ‘Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 127: Poley McPoleface’ »

The Manitoba Advantage

Manitoba consumers enjoy some of the lowest power rates in the developed world. The factors making this possible include favourable geography for hydro-electric development including large natural forebays, reliance on depreciated hydro-electric generation, and government supports such as provincial loan guarantees and earlier federal subsidies for north-south transmission. In recent years, government interference in the operation and oversight of Manitoba Hydro has threatened the province’s rate advantage.

Here is a review of recent initiatives of the previous NDP government, just voted out of office. Continue reading ‘The Manitoba Advantage’ »

Conservation Con Benefactors: Part 1

Professor McKitrick and I document the economic absurdity of Ontario’s multi billion dollar conservation programs and absence of oversight contrasted against official Ontario’s claims justifying the expenditures here. I have appended to this post the full text of Minister Chiarelli’s response to our report and also linked to the original here. The Minister would have us believe that he is doing it all for consumers but he doesn’t even attempt to explain the absence of independent audits much less defend his assertion that conservation is saving money while he is simultaneously paying generators to not generate, subsidizing exports, and signing up more wind and solar with new long-term contracts.

But who benefits from the billions Chiarelli’s spills on conservation? Continue reading ‘Conservation Con Benefactors: Part 1’ »

Demand-side Mismanagement: How Conservation Became Waste

Here is a study I had a chance to co-author with Univerity of Guelph Professor of Economics Dr. Ross McKitrick. The study examines the value proposition behind the billions of dollars of public money that have been expended on energy conservation programs over the last more than 25 years in Ontario. Continue reading ‘Demand-side Mismanagement: How Conservation Became Waste’ »

Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 126: Toronto Hydro’s CEO’s Spectacular Year

Entrusted by Toronto Council to manage the city’s electricity distribution system, Toronto Hydro’s CEO Anthony Haines had another spectacular year in 2015 in both operations and compensation. Continue reading ‘Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 126: Toronto Hydro’s CEO’s Spectacular Year’ »

Selfie Power (With and Without Transmission Charges)

You run a medium-sized business. Your power bill is going up at a compound annual rate of 8%. Your competitors in many jurisdictions are seeing their rates unchanged. The cost of gas-fired generation and even solar power is getting to be an attractive option compared to some of the charges on your bill (the jargon popular among sustainablists is “grid parity”). The Ontario government has identified load-displacement generation as “conservation” and provided big businesses with massive incentives and even direct subsidies to expand investment in this type of behind-the-fence generation. A little brew-your-own power is looking like a lifeline for your business. Right?

Not so fast. Continue reading ‘Selfie Power (With and Without Transmission Charges)’ »

Green Power Cheap At Last?

Here are links to a column Scott Luft and I co-authored in today’s National Post discussing new renewable energy contracts Ontario consumers are now on the hook for. I encourage anyone interested in Ontario’s electricity situation to follow Scott’s blog here, twitter account @scottluft, and FaceBook page here. Continue reading ‘Green Power Cheap At Last?’ »