Dear Glebe Annex residents,
Please find enclosed the following message from the office of Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi regarding electricity pricing.
We’ve heard you. Our government is taking all action necessary to reduce your electricity bill.
I’m happy to report that the Ontario government will be reducing the average electricity bill by 25% for families, farms and small businesses. And future rate increases will be held to the rate of inflation for the next four years.
Starting this summer, Ontario’s Fair Hydro Plan will provide Ottawa households with this 25% break. Many small businesses in our community like Gabriel’s Pizza, Suzy Q Doughnuts and The Clocktower Pub will also benefit from this cut. These measures include the 8% rebate introduced in January and builds on previously announced initiatives to deliver broad-based rate relief on all electricity bills.
Taken together, these changes will deliver the single-largest reduction to electricity rates in Ontario’s history.
Recently, electricity rates have risen for two key reasons:
- Decades of under-investment in the electricity system by governments of all stripes resulted in the need to invest more than $50 billion in generation, transmission and distribution assets to ensure the system is secure and reliable; and,
- The decision to eliminate Ontario’s use of coal and produce clean, renewable power, as well as policies put in place to provide targeted support to rural and low-income customers.
Over the last decade, we have created an electricity grid that is clean, reliable and sustainable. These are enormously important assets that meet the demand for cleaner and reliable power everywhere in the province.
But these investments came at a cost, and we have asked one generation – today’s generation – to unfairly shoulder the burden of nearly all of it. We had to play catch-up and we asked today’s ratepayers to cover nearly the whole tab.
Think of it in terms of a mortgage. We needed to rebuild the system and so we went to the bank for that money. Instead of paying off the mortgage over 30 years, we agreed to a term of 20. That means we pay things down faster. But the monthly mortgage payments – or, in this case, your hydro bills – are higher. And it doesn’t really make sense since that house – or in this case the electricity system – is an asset that will continue to benefit people far past that twenty year window. In effect, this generation is subsidizing not just those who came before, but those who will come next.
This is not right – and it has been notably unfair on today’s hydro users. So, we are fixing that. We are renegotiating the mortgage and setting a new term that stretches over a longer period. Over time, it will cost a bit more. And it will take longer to pay off. But it is fairer – because it doesn’t ask this generation of hydro customers alone to pay the freight for everyone before and after. The burden now will be shared more evenly and more appropriately.
Recognizing that the electricity infrastructure that has been built will last for many decades, our province would refinance those capital investments to ensure that system costs are more equitably distributed over time. Spreading a portion of these costs over a longer time period better reflects the useful lifespan of Ontario’s generation assets and is a fairer approach to distributing those costs.
In addition, a number of important programs, such as the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP), will now be funded by our government instead of ratepayers. Our province will also launch a new Affordability Fund, increase the existing OESP by 50%, enhance the Rural or Remote Rate Protection (RRRP) program to provide distribution charge relief and provide on-reserve First Nations 100% delivery credit. These initiatives will cost our government up to $2.5 billion over the next three years.
These new measures will make the system fairer and more affordable by cutting your hydro bill by 25% (and in some instances more) for everyone in Ottawa and across Ontario.
Collectively we have all worked hard to strengthen and green our electricity system. We recognize that we needed to do more to help our residents and businesses to manage the cost of electricity and that work is underway. If you would like more information on our plan to cut hydro bills by 25% please visit ontario.ca/fairhydroplan or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-722-6414.
Yasir Naqvi, MPP