Energy Poverty…. a phrase that brings to mind some third world slum with sketchy electrical service that only functions sporadically.
In the Province of Ontario, its come to mean that people who have to choose between shelter, food, and hydro.
This isn’t because electricity is scarce in Ontario.
A casual observer might conclude that this crisis arose because of the colossal mismanagement and incompetence demonstrated by the Ontario Liberal party over the past few years.
As I researched this issue, I came to believe that the current pricing structure was deliberately engineered to maximize Hydro One’s value ahead of issuing shares.
I also realized that, whether deliberate or not, the Distribution Rate model that makes hydro exponentially more expensive in vote-poor ridings than vote-rich ones, minimizes the political fallout from the efforts to make Ontario One attractive to investors.
There is simply too much data to go over in a single entry. But I will post what I’ve discovered and allow you to draw your own conclusions.
While driving into work today I noticed that it was darker, and colder.
I wondered how people who had been unable to keep their power turned on would fare in colder weather.
One of the things that has really irked me is that until recently, there was simply no data available on how many customers had their power disconnected because they couldn’t pay.
Naturally, there was no data on how long customers have gone without hydro.
Now, Winter is Coming.
We don’t have to fear White Walkers, or The Lannisters, or GRRM killing us off.
The thousands of people across the province who have given up on trying to keep their hydro on have much to fear.
If you’ve ever read a disconnection notice, you will likely have seen a warning about how old can freeze pipes and cause massive structural damage. Along with that warning will come the notification that the utility is not responsible for any damage.
What these notices don’t say is that cold can kill…it can also take fingers, toes, noses and ears.
How many people in Ontario will die this winter because they couldn’t pay thousands of dollars to keep their lights on?
What percentage will succumb to the cold?
What percentage will succumb to toxic fumes, or fire caused by whatever heat source they try out of desperation?
What percentage will succumb to hopeless depression and commit suicide?
There are many individual causes that brought us to this point. And I will talk about them in future posts.
In future posts I will:
- explain why I think the Ontario Energy Board, who claims to protect consumers is an absolute farce
- talk about how MicroFit, the Green Energy project where the Government of Ontario pays small producers of solar and other green energy considerably more than than market value for their excess power.
- talk about how Hydro One uses distribution and regulation fees to offset the costs of bad policy
While there are many factors that brought us to this point, behind them all, there is one driving factor…
Those who are responsible for the hydro rate crisis completely forgot that their actions have had a significantly detrimental effect on real, living human beings.
They’ve come to view their commodity (electricity), as a luxury. Something that people can do without if they can’t afford it.