Toronto Hydro is in the process of filing supporting materials for a new rate filing, replacing the filing that was turned down by the OEB January 5th earlier this year.
Filtering out the impact of previous regulatory decisions still wending their way through the rate structure and looking purely at the proposed changes arising from the new rate proposal, the overall rate increases phased in over the next three years are as follows:
Small to Medium Businesses and Institutions: 19%
Medium to Large Businesses and Institutions: 15%
These increases are far lower than contained in the utility’s rate proposal turned down by the OEB January 5th. The rate of increase at Toronto Hydro also lags the rate of increase of the overall electricity sector.
There are several areas consumers should be concerned about in the new application. For example, the new rate filing includes a warning from the utility to expect a significant increase in 2015. The new application continues to include Green Energy Act-inspired silliness such as utility-scale batteries to help manage intermittent renewable energy generation.
There appears to be some good news for consumers reflected in the application. The application does not appear to seek recovery of restructuring costs arising from the utility’s unplanned downsizing. It will be interesting to see the impact of these costs on the coffers at Toronto City Hall.
I still have trouble looking at a 5/6% per annum increase in a flat economy. Why can’t Toronto Hydro squeak out OMA savings after reducing staff levels as Tony has already done. That should have played a big role in reducing their operating costs and played a role in reducing requested rate increases further. I still see smoke and mirrors in their application or are the increases to ensure the potential law suits related to cancelled contracts will be covered?
Isn’t this a similar magnitude increase to that which was sought in the previous T. Hydro application?
I agree with Mr. Gallant (and have enjoyed your columns by the way sir).
Can you or Tom Adams speak to whether an outside audit of this organization is warranted or would prove useful? In 2011, I believe there was discussion about whether the City Auditor General had the authority to do any work in this regard but I never heard the final outcome of this. I don’t see how that could hurt.
Toronto Hydro is already the most expensive major LDC for ratepayers (someone correct me if I’m wrong) and it continues to seek rate hikes that would make it even more expensive relative to its peers.
It seems not enough people care about these types of issues. I guess no one at City Hall cares too much as long as that dividend keeps getting paid?