This is Tim Hudak….This is Tim Hudak on Hydro….any Questions? -by Jamie Labonte – May 5, 2011 – Cornwall Ontario

Cornwall ON – Plenty actually! I reallize that the Tories are on a roll and trying desperately to oust McGuinty at every turn but this one is beyond the pale.
Tim Hudak recently intimated that Ontarians are paying a 150% increase in hydro fees. I’m really not sure how he’s coming to these numbers. Suffice to say they don’t add up. I’m looking at an August 2010 old Hydro One bill as we speak. It clearly shows 6.5 cents per kilowatt hour for the first 1000 and 7.5 cents per kWh after that.
Flash forward to now. My bill is slightly different. It shows three time-based prices. At off peak times, it is actually LOWER. 5.1 cent per kWh. On mid-peak it is a tiny bit higher 8.1 cents per kWh and during the most expensive time of use (between 11 am and 5pm) it is 9.9 cents per kWh. 

Now I’m no mathematician but even if we (unfairly) compare the utter extremes, the difference is 9.9 cents minus 6.5 cents. A total of 3.4 cents per kWh at the most wasteful time of day. The fact is that hydro usage peaks greatly at these peak times and we undeniably SHOULD pay more at these times. It’s what is affectionately referred to as “the law of supply and demand”. A died-in-the-wool free-market capitalist like Hudak should be able to appreciate this!

So is this increase the 150% that he suggests? Well actually no. Under the worst case scenario, it’s an increase of approximately 52%. In order for them to raise your rates by 150%, the cost per kWh peak would have to be 16.25 cents!

Now let’s talk about the reason for this increase. We all know that time of use allows us to maximize out hydro efficiency. If a family uses power during off peak times, they actually will be saving just under 5 cents per kWh. That is an easy thing to do if we just wait to run our dishwashers and dryers after 9pm….something most of us do anyways. So technically, depending on the responsible use of power, we’re actually SAVING money on our hydro bill. Go figure!

Now don’t get me wrong here. I hate paying hydro fees as much as the next person but we are in the midst of an electricity crossroads. We can traipse down the road to crisis as we’re doing now, by not paying the fair price for power, or we can be grown-ups and live within our means and by investing in a more sustainable and robust electricity infrastructure. We can’t have it both ways. Hudak is playing the oldest trick in the book by playing on people’s insecurities about the pocketbook. Fine, he can do that but he needs to be serious about his valuations.

Sometimes one wonders if perhaps while studying the power generation issue , Mr. Hudak has been accidentally inhaling transformer fumes.

Best Western


  1. What about the cost of delivery, debt retirement charge, etc? are you adding that to your calculations?

  2. You sir, are playing the oldest trick in the book. You won’t get much feedback from Cornwallites because they get cheap electricity from Quebec. Other areas though HAVE seen a very large increase. You can quote the cents per KWH all you want, however, try dividing your bill total by the number of KWH used……does 150 % look outlandish now?
    Service charges, time of use, GST and the ridiculous debt retirement charge ( charged as a tax on a tax by the way) are the bill lines not be quoted in the story.

  3. We were paying debt retirement under all the governments guys. As for cost of delivery, that’s a legitimate cost and the HST is helping to pay for a transition to greener technology and a more sustainable grid. What, did you think electricity originates in your wall and no one has to do anything to produce it? Let’s be grown-ups.

  4. Let me save people time from reading the whole article – Harris bad!
    The green energy Act and the 10% rebate (current government responsiblity) ensures WE keep on paying weather we are adults are not.

    Of course power comes from the wall, I have parked often enough near the power dam to know that.
    Ontario could have bought power from Quebec for much less, the infrastructure for about 400,000 homes already exits near Ottawa. Other infrastructure must exist or how else could we almost give away power to Quebec and New York.It was what, a billion dollars worth last year and a million alone on New Years Day.

  5. Actually, our grid almost crippled Quebec in 2003. When the dust settled, Mr. Baird (the then energy minister) was nowhere to be seen….not the kind of stewardship we’re looking for.

  6. DRC revenue is included each year in the OEFC’s annual report. If you would like to know more about the status of the debt, you may wish to visit the OEFC website at to read its latest annual report.

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