Are Hydro prices really so high? Letter May 25
Yes, Hydro prices are very high! Rob Graham’s letter conveniently leaves out a few facts about hydro rates.
In March, 1999, when Ontario Hydro and municipal utilities were turned from non-profit commissions into forprofit corporations and the Tories brought in hydro deregulation, the price was 4.3 cents a kWh. The top rate is now 12.9 cents, a 300-per-cent increase. During that time, inflation ran at about 30 per cent, so the price of electricity rose at 10 times the rate of inflation.
Also, this isn’t the real price of hydro. We have a deregulated electricity market (designed by Enron and their friends) now called the Independent Electricity System Operator. The market rate during the cold snap in March was 24.9 cents. The reason why most people are unaware of this market is because the price remains hidden with the Ontario Energy Board truing up rates twice a year. You guessed it, upward.
Also, $1.5 billion is now taken out of Ontario’s economy in private power profits every year. Before deregulation those profits were returned to businesses and citizens in the form of lower and stable rates under at-cost, nonprofit, public power.
We pay double what they pay in Manitoba and Quebec. The price of electricity in Ontario is only going to go way, way up. Why? Because of Hydro deregulation and privatization. Are Hydro rates really so high? Damn right they are!