MTAG: 2 Year Freeze on Hydro Rates

Feedback Request for MPPs and City Council

We are pleased that the Ottawa mayoral race front runners have agreed to; a Spending Control Summit to prioritize services and implement "no new money", Monthly Budget Variance Reports for the top 35 capital projects and 20% of operating costs. We plan to be fully engaged in the implementation of these ideas, however we would like to announce a new direction for the balance of 2010 and 2011. The reason for this new direction is that in many cases, the dollar increase in utility bills are larger than the dollar increase in property taxes. The Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters say that these changes will add an additional $732 a year to family hydro bills by 2015, some expect this to happen in the next couple of years.

 

It has been reported we currently pay 5-8 cents per kilowatt, but energy from wind costs 40-50 cents and 80.2 cents for solar or 15 times the current rate. This does not include the cost of building a new grid to distribute intermittent energy. We see no rational explanation for this eminently sensible idea and shall be organizing a municipal campaign across Ontario. Cities need to have a say in setting the rates for their residents and in the decision to remove their rights have an input on the location of wind farms. City governments can no longer wash their hands from the hydro issue since they often own the utilities that distribute the power and hence profit from the rising hydro costs. In some cases we will also organize townhalls to give Provincial & Municipal Governments an opportunity to get feedback from residents.

 

This campaign will stop before October 2011 if some of the following objectives are achieved:


  • public enquiry on the reasons for a rise in hydro costs (defacto carbon tax), contract and appointment process, foreign influence on energy policy
  • 2 year freeze of hydro rates (already gone up 14% this year), Ottawa Mayor agrees that cost reduction targets should be a litmus test for appointments to the hydro board
  • HST exemption for utilities (extreme heat or cold can lead to adverse health effects, including death)
  • change laws that prevent municipalities from aggressively pursuing waste to energy solutions (former US President Bill Clinton is an advocate of this position)
  • cancel or reduce the Samsung deal by 90% and stop all windmill purchases from California
  • cancel contracts to buy energy from any source that costs 10% more than existing supplies from hydro, nuclear, coal or gas
  • keep coal plants open until there is sufficient replacement of the equivalent production capacity
  • ensure any expense on clean coal technology, wind, solar, other alternative energy will not result in higher rates or a higher deficit
  • mitigate 2 billion spent on smart meters by cancelling new installations, and ensuring that revenue does not exceed pre smart meter levels
  • reduce administration costs for the Ontario Energy Board and all energy related departments by 10%

 

Could you please provide us feedback on which of these ideas you can support?

 

Sincerely,

 

Municipal Taxpayer Advocacy Group