Electricity exporting cost Ontarians over $1 billion in 2013

Queen’s Park – Ontarians who are already paying some of the highest hydro bills in Canada paid over $1 billion to subsidize power for neighbouring jurisdictions last year, New Democrat Energy Critic Peter Tabuns revealed today. While thousands of Ontarians sat in the dark during the blackout, Ontario was actually giving away electricity to the United States and other jurisdictions. Tabuns says Ontario should be focused on delivering affordable reliable power for families and businesses, not paying private power companies and dumping excess electricity.

“Families in Ontario are feeling squeezed, and they keep seeing their hydro power bills go up. It doesn’t make sense for people to pay more to subsidize cheap power for people across the border,” said NDP Energy Critic Peter Tabuns. “The energy system is broken. We should be focused on delivering affordable reliable power, but the Liberals seem more interested in helping out well-connected private power companies.”

According to the IESO, Ontario exported 18.3 TWh of electricity in 2013, which was sold wholesale at an average price of 2.65 cents/KWh to five neighbouring jurisdictions: Michigan, New York, Minnesota, Manitoba and Quebec. Power generated in Ontario cost 8.55 cents/KWh to produce, with Ontario ratepayers picking up the difference through the Global Adjustment Charge. Ontario ratepayers subsidized electricity exports to the tune of $1.079 billion, or around $220 for each of Ontario’s 4.9 million ratepayers.

Tabuns noted that on December 28, 2013, while tens of thousands of families were still without power, the Hourly Ontario Energy Price hit $0.00, with Ontario giving away power.

“While Ontario families were in the dark over Christmas, we were literally giving away power, and on top of this it’s costing over $1 billion to sell below-cost power outside Ontario,” continued Tabuns, “Liberal private power contracts, billions wasted on cancelled gas plants, and private energy trading are driving up people’s bills.”

Ontario’s electricity system set up by the Conservatives, and maintained by the Liberals leaves Ontario’s neighbours paying a lower price for Ontario power, which is subsidized by Ontario ratepayers.

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