Ever since I can remember I've heard the comment that there is "no difference" between Canadians and Americans. I respectfully beg to differ as there is a difference on so many levels! We have unique Canadian culture consisting of Canadianisms, a Canadian perspective on world events, Canadian cuisine as well as products and foods only available in Canada. This blog is dedicated to celebrating all things Canadian from "my perspective" as a Canadian. Please enjoy your visit and be sure to visit often.

Garden Gnome
Americans should never underestimate the constant pressure on Canada which the mere presence of the United States has produced. We're different people from you and we're different people because of you. Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is effected by every twitch and grunt. It should not therefore be expected that this kind of nation, this Canada, should project itself as a mirror image of the United States.
- Pierre Trudeau

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ontario Verses Energy Conservation

Originally the TOU electricity pricing came into effect in Ontario as a way for foster energy conservation.  The concept was rather simple that by shifting certain electricity uses to off-peak hours it would lessen the strain on the aging electrical grid in Ontario as well as to help phase in green sources of energy.  On the surface all this sounds quite lovely until you start analyzing it.  On July 1 the HST went into effect raising hydro rates by 8% that when combined with the new TOU pricing saw our hydro rates rise 17%.  Public outcry has caused the Ontario government to announce the Ontario Green Energy Benefit that will give a rebate of 10% on hydro bills.  Essentially what this means is even with the rebate our hydro bills have gone up 7%.  Announced at the same time was hydro rates in Ontario will continue rising 7.6% per year for the next five years or a projected 46% increase.

Let's look at this in terms of energy conservation.  Those with money will continue on as normal unless they are looking to moving towards a more eco-friendly lifestyle.  Hydro One suggests doing laundry and running the dishwasher during off-peak hours which effectively will save 5¢ per washer load and 17¢ per dishwasher load neither of these are really going to save any real money.  One of the problems is with TOU it has essentially directed folks to over use electricity during off-peak hours while limiting use dure mid-peak and on-peak hours.  The problem is off-peak winter hours cost 5.1¢ per kWh compared to when the TOU pricing was first proposed where off-peak hours would be 4.2¢ and higher than our previous winter rate of 4.6% so essentially even on off-peak hours we are paying more for our electricity per kWh, 17% more!

Is Ontario meeting the goal of fostering energy conservation?

No, and the reason for this is they have failed to educate those in Ontario how to effectively save electricity.  Simply switching electricity use to use as much as possible during off peaks hours does nothing.  If anything the announced rebate does more damage than good because many will see the 10% rebate without realizing they are still paying 7.6% per year more on electricity.  The Ontario government is not really working towards getting people into using solar alternatives rather than electricity and that is because it is not in the best interest of the Ontario government who runs Hydro One.  So encouraging folks to switch electricity usage to off-peak hours is still making them money.   They even announced earlier this year that they would no longer be honouring the promised 84¢ per kWh generated by farmers enrolled in the microFIT program.  This is a program where farmers or residential owners install solar panels via a low interest loan to feed electricity back into the grid. 


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