Ontario’s Electricity Regulation Crisis Report ““ Part 17: Tony’s Hydro (Formerly Toronto Hydro) Message to Staff

Here is what Tony’s Hydro (formerly Toronto Hydro) was telling staff internally today:

The mass firings are on hold. Hydro’s executive team is meeting with their counterparts from the OEB. The utility has received independent advice on the OEB decision from three reviews. According to Hydro, these reviews confirm the original position of the utility, issued only hours after the OEB decision was available. The utility continues to assert that under the OEB’s decision, it can only receive $140M for capital spending. The funding increase method that the OEB uses for utilities with special needs, called an Incremental Capital Module (ICM), has no potential to improve the capital spending shortfall. The utility is telling workers that the ICM is for only unforeseen expenses and the utility’s need is based on a 10 year plan and that therefore $140M is a hard ceiling.

So, according to Tony’s Hydro, the OEB was stupid in its decision, the utility’s interpretation of the decision has been correct all along, and the OEB chair was wrong again in her letter of Jan. 13.

This latest information suggests that Tony’s Hydro (formerly Toronto Hydro) is looking for time and fresh lines of attack to keep fighting the authority of the Ontario Energy Board. The utility is undeterred in moving ahead with its plan for a deregulated monopoly. It is telling that the utility has not disclosed to its own staff whether the new reviews it is relying on were conducted by the same people who participated in the original application that lead to this crisis. The utility’s characterization of the limitations of the ICM is wrong. The ICM would allow the utility to get project by project approval for justifiable capital needs.