There’s a difference between city and county electricity rates
How much energy do you use? How much do you have to pay for it? If you live in Cornwall, perhaps you feel lucky. If you live in the Counties, perhaps you feel put upon.
According to the Ontario Clean Air Alliance, “Ontario Power Generation (OPG) wants to increase the rate it receives for power from its nuclear units by a 30% next year. OPG is basically asking to dig into electricity ratepayer pockets at the rate of $755 million a year to pre- pay for rebuilding its aging Darlington Nuclear Station.”
OPG is also asking for a significant increase in the rate it receives for power from its heritage hydro projects – dams and power plants that were built many, many decades ago. Some of this money may be used to update these facilities, but it is just as likely to be used to subsidize the rebuilding of the Darlington plant given the rock bottom costs of operating 60 or 70 year old water power plants.
According to OPG, its rate increases will raise the average residential customers’ electricity bill by $183 per year. “
I have concerns about rebuilding the Darlington plant for a couple of reasons. The first of course is environmental.
According to the Council of Canadians “There are 2.3 million fuel bundles sitting in temporary storage facilities in Canada ... And all of it - 46,000 tonnes in all—will be dangerously radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years.”
This is the legacy that we are leaving our children—to thousands of generations.
The second concern is financial. The building or rebuilding of nuclear facilities always goes over budget. That I don’t understand - isn’t there are bidding process and shouldn’t the winner have to suck up the overruns if they don’t do the job properly? But there is always an overrun that we either as taxpayers or as users of Ontario Hydro’s product, have to absorb — pay for!
The Ontario Clean Air Alliance points out that “Ontario has many lower cost and safer options for meeting its electricity needs, everything from ramping up efficiency and conservation at a cost of about 3 cents a kilowatthour (kWh) to importing power from Quebec at a cost of 4 cents a kWh, less than half what even OPG is optimistically promising power from a re-built Darlington Station will cost.”
I was sure I heard a little while ago that Ontario had paid the United States to take some of our surplus energy. I hope I have heard wrong! I know it is impossible to store electricity - we don’t have the battery technology to do so yet— but paying someone to take it? Dump it somewhere free of charge!!!
I suggest that each of us can be more efficient - I realized just as I sat down to write this column that I had forgotten to turn my computer off at the power bar this morning. Shame on me!!
Have each of us really looked at our energy efficiency? Even if you live in Cornwall and are not subject to the rates of Ontario Hydro, you should be looking at efficiencies - it will save you money!!