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Electricity Rates Rising? Learn More. Have Your Say.

Jul 13, 2016

There is an interesting Ontario Energy Board (OEB) Notice in the Toronto Metro Newspaper this morning - and it hopefully appears in a host of other papers throughout the province too. It’s a full-page text-only public service announcement – easy to ignore if you aren’t energy nerds like us. But if you stop to read the headline you’ll note that the subject of the piece affects all of us:

Ontario Power Generation Inc. has applied to raise its payments. Learn more. Have your say.

OEB in Metro

A quick skim reveals that Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is applying to raise the amount it charges to produce nuclear and hydroelectric power for the next 5 years. The public was alerted to this in the Spring but we’ve likely all forgotten. The OPG requires funds to refurbish its generators – in the billions. These rate hikes will show up on our electricity bills as an extra dollar or two. A quick refresher on OPG – they are a crown corporation owned by the Ontario Government, and even though Ontario has an open electricity market, OPG is the largest generator and operates two nuclear plants – Darlington & Pickering.

The Ontario Energy Board is an independent agency that licenses and sets rates for energy and natural gas utilities in the province. The application by OPG to raise rates, is listed under file number EB-2016-0152, and if you go deep enough into the myriad of documents (and we’d wager that citizens rarely do), you can see the costs involved in maintaining an aging nuclear plant.

In any case, the important thing about this Notice in the paper is that it invites the public to weigh in on this decision by becoming an intervenor, and to write to the OEB to explain why an oral hearing should be held to discuss this matter. The OEB also has a fairly active Twitter account and they post all opportunities to participate in energy discussions.

It’s important to remind ourselves and those around us that there are opportunities to learn more and become involved in our energy future.