Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 109: Oops, OEB Breaks the Law Again

Having made a mockery of the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) Act and its associated governance rules with respect to the lack of a statutorily required complement of two vice chairs and the lack of a required COO position, all of which have been documented in previous posts in this series, the OEB has found a new way to flaunt the rules. Continue reading ‘Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 109: Oops, OEB Breaks the Law Again’ »

Decoding Ontario Electricity Propaganda

(This post is based on lecture notes presented in Professor Desrochers GGR333, April 1, 2014.)

Facts about Ontario’s electricity situation that you can trust would be nice. Debates over Ontario’s electricity situation are deluged with propaganda from all sides. When it comes to Ontario’s electricity situation, what constitutes a credible source?

Here are three examples of apparently respectable sources making apparently simple factual statements about electricity in Ontario. How do the claims being made hold up? Who do you trust? Continue reading ‘Decoding Ontario Electricity Propaganda’ »

Ontario’s “Debt Reduction Charge” is Eternal

The much-hated Debt Reduction Charge (DRC) appears on almost every Ontarian’s electricity bill (customers in Cornwall are off the hook). It adds 0.7 cents/kWh to the cost of all power sold through the IESO market and even applies to all self-generation for customers historically served by the former Ontario Hydro.

The DRC, which is really an electricity tax, was originally justified as a way of collecting a portion of the net liabilities left over from the insolvency of the old Hydro. The government calls the old Ontario Hydro’s net liabilities “stranded debt”. The portion of the “stranded debt” to be serviced by the DRC was given a fancy but meaningless title — the “residual stranded debt”.

The “residual stranded debt” was originally little more than a marketing tool to legitimize the DRC electricity tax, but it also created an open-ended account where governments could build up new electricity liabilities. Continue reading ‘Ontario’s “Debt Reduction Charge” is Eternal’ »

Ratepayers Not the Only Ones Burned by Liberal Seat Saver

The most expensive individual seat the Ontario Liberals have bought with future electricity ratepayer dollars is the northwestern riding of Thunder Bay-Atikokan. In the 2007 election, Liberal Bill Mauro beat out the NDP’s John Rafferty by a mere 50 votes. NDP support in the riding was growing as the Liberals had announced they were shutting down Atikokan’s coal fired generator. To avoid losing the seat, a very expensive idea was born — convert OPG’s Atikokan into a forest-fired generator. Continue reading ‘Ratepayers Not the Only Ones Burned by Liberal Seat Saver’ »

Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 108: Electricity Distributors Award the Future

Last night, Toronto Hydro’s CEO Anthony Haines received another award from the Ontario Electrical Distributors Association (EDA) at the organization’s annual gala. The EDA’s press release says that Mr. Haines was recognized for “his highly effective public communication leadership during the December ice storm.”

Anyone familiar with Mr. Haines’ track record of false signals to customers about power restoration after the ice storm might wonder what the EDA was actually rewarding. Continue reading ‘Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 108: Electricity Distributors Award the Future’ »