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  • OEG Consumer Watch Helps Ontario To Combat Rising Energy Rates

shutterstock_157413608Amid public discourse surrounding Ontario’s increasingly expensive power grid,  Ontario Energy Group (OEG) Consumer Watch has undertaken a project to connect with Ontario residents and inform them about the causes and effects of rapidly rising energy costs. By opening real and meaningful dialogue with homeowners, OEG Consumer Watch has begun the process of helping resident across the province combat rising costs of renewable energy and the cancellation of cheaper alternative energy sources that had previously kept prices low.

On the heels of a recent electricity price hike in May of this year, as well as an unprecedented 40% price hike in natural gas in the beginning of April has left residents across the province in an increasingly perilous financial situation. Of particular concern is that Ontario rate payers may face what is known as “energy poverty”, a financial state in which a family spends 10% or more of their income on home energy needs. Similar examples of such a condition have been recognized in Germany and the United Kingdom, and critics believe that Ontario could soon face a similar crisis.

As our energy prices rise, rural residents have become greatly concerned as to what’s being done for consumers. “We are paying out to developers when we have to export energy at a loss?  We already have too much”, notes reader Bonnie T. of Smithville in a correspondence with OEG Consumer Watch: “The only benefit is to the greedy developers.”  Of particular note is the development of high-cost wind and solar energy projects proliferated by the Green Energy Act of 2009, as well as the closing of two gas-fired power plants in 2011 under the McGuinty government; a decision that has been criticized by experts for putting political interests ahead of the needs of Ontario.

As a pro-consumer information resource, OEG Consumer Watch has received unprecedented feedback from users as energy costs are projected to continue to rise into 2032.  As reader Karen B.  shares: “I hope it will help to dispel the rhetoric with which the public has been tainted … In my view there have been some unethical practices and perhaps there are ways and means for us to take steps to alleviate situations where the unwary are hurt in the process.” In turn, the group has provided reciprocating information to help users understand how Ontario’s energy grid has led to rising costs, and what they can do to lower their bills while support from other sources has continued to wane.

The group continues to advise homeowners that, to date, the most effective way to lower your energy costs is to invest time and effort into conservation efforts. This advice can help lower costs in the short term while promoting decreased costs in the future. OEG Consumer Watch summarized how conservation helps homeowners with the following: “…approximately $2 billion invested in conservation efforts has saved $4 billion in new generation since 2005, and it’s predicted that reducing our personal consumption by 20%, our energy bills would not rise for another 20 years. This is in the face of predictions from the Ontario Ministry of Energy that our bills will increase until 2032 without conservation.”

To that end, OEG Consumer Watch continues to help residents across Ontario improve the efficiency of their home energy consumption through recommending essential upgrades to appliances, replacing outdated energy products with high-efficiency ones, and communicating with readers to help educate residents on the cause and effect of high energy prices.

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