October 24, 2011,
It's no secret that our 'Green Energy Act' could easily turn into
another boondoggle should Obama's Solyndra $527 Million solar energy
bankruptcy be a harbinger to Ontario's 'Green Energy' agreement with
Our 'Green Energy Act' appeared to operate under the radar until
it was reported that our wind generators were not turned off last
Christmas and the Taxpayer had to pay $1.5 million when Quebec and New
York took our surplus wind generated power and then to make matters
worse, we again exported surplus power to New York and Quebec this
summer and the Taxpayer had to pay $6.6 million!
And now, we are being told that Energy to thousands of similar businesses in York Region, perhaps 100's
of thousands of similar businesses province wide will increase...substantially!
To bring the light of day to The Great Ontario Energy Rip-Off, a PC candidate organized a media event on Thursday, September 22nd at a Richmond Hill factory to assist similar small and medium-sized Ontario employers, who as a group comprise the largest single block of employers in Ontario with the intentions of attracting interested media to shine their light into what small and medium-sized business perceive as a very dark hole.
To provide some background information, on Thursday, September 15th, a York Region employer received a letter from Power Stream advising of a switch to Time Of Use billing with a substantial Energy cost increase that was supposed to take effect on May 1st. and called Power Stream to get the facts.
When calling their customer service, the employer was told that Power Stream does not set rates. Rates are set by Ontario Power Authority and consumers would not see this increase until receiving the November bill as the increased rates will apply as of October 1st., making this two weeks notice to adjust cost structures!
It is interesting to note that Ontario small and medium-sized employers were never asked for their opinion, but simply told that the new rate schedule was mandatory.
The first suspicion was that the announcement had been put off until just before the election to minimize consumer pushback! This information was immediately sent to the PC and Liberal candidate for their comment. By bringing the issue of a massive and surreptitious Energy cost increase forward, the employer simply wanted to give the candidates the opportunity to save jobs. Only Vic Gupta, PC replied!
Upon further review of the Power Stream letter, the employer was able to confirm that all Ontario small and medium-sized businesses are scheduled for a whopping 57% increase for Energy used on On-Peak hours (from 11 am until 5 pm) based upon the Summer schedule.
According to this new rate sheet, the current daytime rate of .068 kWh is to increase to .107 kWh, and understand that this new rate schedule will affect similar Ontario businesses who can't or won't switch to a midnight shift! Further, the future Winter scheduled Energy cost increase (with TBA for values noted) would be determined by the Ontario Power Authority after the election.
The second suspicion is that this massive Energy cost increase is a
direct result of poor planning and poor decision-making and Energy
consumers are once again expected to make it right.
The York Region-based employer has been making consumer-packaging; the kind that you see on thousands of retail products across Canada for 25 years and all plant machinery uses energy. As Energy consumption is directly related to the volume of orders received from clients, the only method available to avoid this onerous cost increase in a meaningful way is to change to 'off peak' hours, meaning the midnight shift, according the Power Stream rate sheet!
Assuming that employers could entice their employees to switch to the midnight shift, Time Of Use could have created an incentive to operate at off-peak offset by an increased cost for on-peak by making it revenue neutral but this new rate schedule is clearly a cash grab and a dangerous precedent.
When the full effects of outrageous Time Of Use Energy rates; as noted in the Power Stream letter are felt by similar Ontario businesses, the sound may be deafening, especially if it results in more existing jobs lost to every 'green' job gained.
Despite confusion and denials, now we hear of a 'hidden agenda'...Carbon Tax or Cap and Trade Tax or perhaps both are reportedly on the table!
Will it be left for the Occupiers to state that...Enough is Enough?