A recent report from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce
raises concerns about the impacts of rising electricity costs on
Ontario businesses. The report sets out five recommendations to
assist in reducing the increases in electricity costs. The
recommendations, which the report says are "viable options to
ensure that our electricity costs are competitive"
Increasing the transparency of electricity pricing and cost
drivers, particularly in relation to generation costs and the
average cost of electricity (including the Global Adjustment)
Retaining the Debt Retirement Charge (DRC) on residential
customer bills until it is retired [In a priorpost, we discussed the timing and implications of
the removal of the DRC and the Clean Energy Benefit from
residential customer bills]
Incenting the voluntary consolidation of LDCs
Moving away from centralized procurement of electricity
generation, in favour of capacity markets [This is another
topic that we have discussed in a priorpost]
Making better use of smart meter data for means such as shaping
policy, forecasting demand, assessing asset and grid maintenance
requirements and expanding customer segmentation
The Chamber of Commerce report received considerable media
attention (for example, the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail and the Timmons Times), which focused on the
negative implications of rising electricity costs for Ontario
The public response from Ontario's Minister of Energy, Bob
Chiarelli, was swift, in the form of a letter published in a number of newspapers,
along with a statement issued by the Ministry of Energy.
Minister Chiarelli's response focused on the Chamber of
Commerce proposal to retain the DRC on residential bills. The
Minister indicated removing the DRC will save residential customers
an average of $70 per year (but did not mention the impacts of
terminating the Clean Energy Benefit at the same time, which will
cause residential bills to
increase). Minister Chiarelli indicated that removing the DRC
is an important step for reducing energy costs for Ontario families
that will not be changed to benefit business customers. The
Minister did not directly address the other Chamber of Commerce
recommendations. Instead, the Minister's response spoke of
current programs, initiatives and conservation opportunities to
assist businesses, and about the benefits of a modernized, cleaner
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Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a federation comprised of ten provinces and three territories. Canada's judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches of Government.
The Government of Alberta recently announced a number of policy changes that will impact the Alberta Electricity Market, composed of its generators, transmitters, distributors, retailers, electricity consumers and wholesale electricity market.
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