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  • Would You Pay a Fixed Rate for Your Power?

It’s been a battlefield in Ontario the last few weeks, with competing ideologies about what Ontarians deserve, or more what they can be afforded, being the hottest button topic among both the political elite and among homeowners.

And while little was actually solved by the election, a new proposal has come out of the woodwork: the proposal that all Ontario homeowners pay the same, even, fixed rate on their electricity.

Wait, Haven’t We Been Down This Road Before?

Smart meters and other government programs propose to create flat rate electricity.

Smart meters and other government programs propose to create flat rate electricity.

We have been down this road before. It’s the very model that deregulation of Ontario’s energy has been doing for consumers for years. However, affording companies the freedom to set their own rates and a lackluster attempt to educate consumers on making the right choices has put the state of fixed energy contracts into question.

Can the government do it better? We can be fairly confident that if a province-wide fixed energy rate was introduced, it would be at a much more affordable rate than contracts issued by companies. That would allow the plan to control our out-of-control energy rates, and allow for easier budgeting for most families.

But with these benefits come a few scant issues, issues which aren’t well known.

You Would Have No Choice In the Matter

A province-wide energy rate would require, to have any legislative weight, to be ubiquitous among Ontarians. If we were to pay province-enforced fixed rates, it would depend on everyone paying this uniform plan.

This can be a bitter pill for many who have felt jilted or scammed by the Ontario government’s missteps in the past when addressing energy policy, and it does remove a fundamental freedom from Ontario consumers: the freedom to choose.

It May Benefit The Rich, and Hurt The Poor

The Green Energy Coalition points out an even more problematic issue with the proposal: it unfairly favors higher earning households, and prices for low-earning houses would spike up.

Energy consumption by income and province. Click the image to see a full-size.

Energy consumption by income and province. Click the image to see a full-size.

Larger, higher earning homes tend to consumer more power, and they would be sheltered against high usage by the benefit of an even cost that doesn’t care how much energy you use. Lower earning households, such as those of poor families who use LESS energy would be paying as much as their richer peers despite consuming less. In effect, it’s yet another economic institution that pays the rich for being rich, and punishes the poor for being poor.

And It Doesn’t Reward What Ontario MUST Do

torontonightTo lower our energy bills, improve the economy of Ontario’s energy industry, and to build a greener earth, we MUST embrace conservation as an energy tactic. How high we make conservation a priority is another issue to discuss, but part of making conservation viable is rewarding utilities and homeowners who practice it.

A set rate doesn’t reward us for good behavior, it doesn’t encourage businesses and homes to make positive changes in their consumption. In fact, if anything, this rewards us for consuming too much, which may lead us down the path of even higher energy costs in the future.

We Ask You – Would You Support This?

Would you support a measure that rewards the rich for being rich, the waste for being wasteful, and the government just because they told you so? Can you get behind a program that would offer a one-size-fits-all solution to a complex and complicated economic problem? We want to hear from you, Ontario, if this is a solution that you’re willing to pay for.

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