Nuke and gas rate hike scam in Toronto, too

It’s not just Georgia Power that raised rates to pay for nuclear and natural gas plants and then complained about solar. Ontario has the same scam.

John Spears wrote for the Toronto Star yesterday, Mad about your hydro bill? Blame nuclear and gas plants: Payments to nuclear and gas-fired generators are the main ingredients in the largest component on Ontario hydro bills

Payments to nuclear and gas-fired generating plants — not to renewable energy suppliers — are the main ingredients in the biggest component of your hydro bill.

That’s the conclusion of a study done for the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), which runs Ontario’s power market.

Renewable power has frequently been the whipping boy for hydro price increases, because of the highly visible prices it commands. It’s also a political flashpoint: the provincial Progressive Conservatives have presented a bill in the Legislature that would gut the renewable energy policies adopted by the Liberals.

But a study by Navigant Consulting Ltd. shows that payments to nuclear and gas-fired generators are responsible for two-thirds of the “global adjustment” charge, which is the biggest part of the “electricity” line in your hydro bill.

There’s more in the article about how Ontario Hydro hides those gas and nuke rate hikes. Then it spells out the actual proportions:

“Nuclear and natural gas fired generation were the two largest contributors to the global adjustment over the study period,” Navigant concluded. Nuclear plants — both the privately operated Bruce Power and the publicly owned Ontario Power Generation — contributed 42 per cent to the global adjustment cost, Navigant found.

Natural gas-fired generators contributed another 26 per cent.

Renewable power — including hydro, wind and solar — accounted for just 17 per cent of the global adjustment, Navigant found.

The remaining 15 per was needed to cover a variety of other costs, including payments to Ontario’s soon-to-be-closed coal plants.


PS: Owed to Art MacKay.