Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 116: Toronto Hydro’s Latest Attempt to Jack Up Rates

Under CEO Anthony Haines, Toronto Hydro has dedicated itself to the proposition that power users in the city are paying way too little for electricity. Particularly since 2011, the utility has presented a wide variety of schemes to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to secure approval for higher rates. The latest scheme is now officially under review by the OEB.

Under the new plan, residential consumers would see the core distribution portion of their bills rise 21% in 2015, while rates for small and medium – sized businesses would rise 19 – 22%. Continue reading ‘Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 116: Toronto Hydro’s Latest Attempt to Jack Up Rates’ »

Guest Post “Dismantling the Ontario Energy Board” by Jay Shepherd, (originally posted September 2, 2014)

The following guest post is authored by Toronto-based energy law expert Jay Shepherd. In it, Jay addresses trends in energy regulation in Ontario. Jay is a major figure in energy law in Ontario, having practiced before the Ontario Energy Board since 1985. Over the course of his career, he has represented a wide range of interests including renewable energy producers and consumer groups. Since 2003, Jay has represented the energy regulation interests of all 5000 of Ontario’s public and secondary schools. He also has a background in tech start-ups, banking, and tax.
Continue reading ‘Guest Post “Dismantling the Ontario Energy Board” by Jay Shepherd, (originally posted September 2, 2014)’ »

Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 115A: Toronto Hydro’s Near Miss (Report Attachment)

HONI rpt on THESL-caused April 15 Blackout is the Hydro One report referred to in Part 115, posted on August 6th, of this series identifying Toronto Hydro’s unsafe construction of a power line on Union Street as the cause of the April 2014 blackout in west Toronto. Continue reading ‘Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 115A: Toronto Hydro’s Near Miss (Report Attachment)’ »

Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 115: Toronto Hydro’s Near Miss

A report, “Toronto Hydro Electric System Customer Briefing”, authored by technical staff within Hydro One, provides the first detailed technical explanation now available of the events surrounding the April 15 blackout that left about one quarter of Toronto Hydro’s customers in the dark. Dated May 1, 2014, the report clearly sets out the risk of electrocution that Toronto Hydro exposed workers to in constructing the misconceived infrastructure upgrade project that caused the blacked out. Continue reading ‘Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 115: Toronto Hydro’s Near Miss’ »

Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 114: How Toronto Hydro Screws Small and Medium-sized Businesses

Notwithstanding its natural advantages due to economies of scale and service territory density, Toronto Hydro currently charges 28% more for distribution service than the average of the distribution rates charged by the province’s other large urban distributors. Toronto Hydro’s record on rates charged to small and medium-sized business is much worse. Continue reading ‘Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 114: How Toronto Hydro Screws Small and Medium-sized Businesses’ »

Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 112: Toronto Hydro’s Ice Storm Response Was Awesome (Or Not)

On June 18, Toronto Hydro released its 2013 ice storm report. The “independent review panel’s report” — commissioned, scoped, staffed, and funded by Toronto Hydro — found that Toronto Hydro did an awesome job fixing the blackout. “Toronto Hydro performed the restoration in a manner consistent with industry norms.” Toronto Hydro’s communication performance “met or exceeded industry best practices.” The CEO performed his communication role “well”. The root cause of any problems customers might have experienced rested mostly with our love of trees and customer ignorance. These were the key messages regurgitated by many news outlets, with particularly unthoughtful coverage from the Toronto Star’s Christopher Hume, CTV, and City TV.

The report is replete with contradictions. Continue reading ‘Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 112: Toronto Hydro’s Ice Storm Response Was Awesome (Or Not)’ »