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  • Underselling Our Energy Out of Province Affects Us All

I am a young mothers of 2 infants and feel like I have been woken up to the SCAM of government. The Green Energy Act has taken away common sense to everyday Ontarians’ while furthering the divide between Rural and Urban communities in the Province. The rising electricity rates are making it hard for my family and every family in Ontario, never mind
businesses to succeed in our economy. While New York State and Michigan benefit from sales of our “under-market” excess electricity, Ontarians have to pay more while they are using less….”put a sweater on” the Premier and our Energy Minister say….

Why are we worrying about conservation when we are over-producing?
Why are we installing Wind Turbines and Solar Technology when there is excess electricity on our grids? Didn’t anyone read the Auditor Generals report? At 2.7 Billion more per year than the “Market Rate” of electricity….who is losing?

It’s all of us in Ontario.

Marianne K. Ontario

Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

(This was from an open call for commentary on our article Is A Greener Ontario Worth The Price?)

We’ll concede first off that the issue of selling energy at a loss out-of-province was an issue that we felt would be steeped in politicization; the issue of rising energy costs concerns us as much as it does any consumer. We’d like to address this issue, its causes, and identify what Ontario’s residents can do amid an economic system seemingly out of their grasp.

Underselling surplus energy is not a new practice by any means, but the debate marches on how deeply Ontario’s energy industry has become party to and encouraged what’s becoming an increasingly over saturated energy grid.

However, we feel the issue over overproducing energy goes well beyond wind and solar technology which, together, make up about 5% of Ontario’s energy production. With an annual consumption of 151 TWh annually, and about 18.3 TWh exported in 2013 alone, there’s more than twice the energy being exported per year than would be generated by all green sources alone.

So while solar and wind have helped to over saturate Ontario’s energy grid, we would point out that Ontario’s energy grid is over saturated from all sources. As Nuclear and Hydro together make up over three fourths of our power production, they can certainly not be held as innocent in the matter themselves. What’s particularly concerning isn’t that solar and wind are overproducing, or even that they’ve received subsidies – what’s very concerning to us is that the Ontario government is paying wind energy producers to stop producing. As drains go on resources, this is one that is particularly alarming and, according to research on other countries, a uniquely Ontario problem.

Wind and solar have contributed to this, but the reality is that Ontario’s energy policy has run away with itself, and in 2013 alone the province lost $1 billion due to exports of excess energy. It looks to us that the issue lies in an ill-managed economic and energy policy. Even with the best of intentions, it’s not our energy sources that are inefficient: it’s our energy industry.

And it reflects on our bills. Ontario homeowners pay one of the highest rates in North America for their power; something we’ve addressed in little ways by helping consumers control their usage. However, with prices projected to rise without relief, the issue will have to become a front and center issue for the provincial government.

The scope of the problem is beyond just the drawbacks of wind and solar energy, and beyond the feed-in tariffs of the Green Energy Act. The problem is the cause and result of an economic philosophy that’s lost touch with the needs of the citizens it was create to serve.

With prices soaring and the surplus unaddressed, we can’t expect any consumer to be happy with this state of affairs. Whether the oil and coal sector tapers off or renewables lose their golden-calf funding, voicing your concerns now is the only way to force an economic policy that plays favorites with everyone but the people who matter: Ontario.

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