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  • Is A Greener Ontario Worth The Price?

Nothing is more on the minds of Ontario residents than energy. Energy has become the subject du-jour, whether it be in industry, politics, or domestic living. Our thirst for cheaper and more abundant energy rises up every time Ontario Hydro releases a statement or Premier Wynne or her opponents discuss the economy. And at the center of it all is the Green Energy Act.

It’s All About The Green Energy Act

Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Possibly the most divisive thing in Ontario today is the 2009 Green Energy Act, which proposes to reduce the carbon footprint we create as a province while transitioning a bulk of our energy grid to renewable sources such as hydro, solar, wind, and biofuel technology.

The reality is that rising energy costs in the province, while in part due to a mismanaged and outdated traditional energy structure, is also highly influenced by this goal to create a more environmentally friendly economy; some would even characterize the Act as overzealous.

In the business world, there’s concerns that the high price of electricity has pushed Ontario businesses out of province to seek either other Canadian provinces or even US states with lower energy rates. At this time, businesses pay more than homeowners in energy rates, and there’s concerns that these will discourage new economic growth in the province.

However, where the biggest costs go would surprise you. The Auditor General of Ontario reported that the majority of renewable energy costs are actually invested into nuclear energy, which is projected to grow significantly over the next few years.

One fact about nuclear energy is that the terms for gains on investment are very long, and contributes to part of the reason that nuclear energy has been such a slowly adopted energy platform in North America. Returns on investments for nuclear power can be as much as 20 to 30 years, while Ontario’s energy investments in solar and wind are projected to pay off much sooner.

So the debate becomes: is The Green Energy Act worth the rising costs of Ontario energy bills? It’s the assurance of the current Ontario government that energy prices are a temporary sacrifice for a long term solution. And while it’s too soon to be skeptical of this claim, the reality is that homeowners and businesses are paying high fees today. Can they weather the burden, and will it be worth it in the end?

Ontario Energy Group Consumer Watch would like to defer to the opinions of our readers on this matter. We’d like to hear from you in the comment box below how you feel about Ontario’s rising energy rates, the Green Energy Act, and the future of Ontario.

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