Tim Hudak On Smart Meters for Electricity in Ontario – May 5, 2011

Queen’s Park ON – Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak said Ontario families want change from constant nickel and diming – and end  mandatory smart meter tax machines – that are stretching the family budget to the limit and running up bills for small businesses.


At a time when hydro bills continue to soar, hydro rates have increased a whopping 150 percent for families with a so-called smart meter. Hydro companies have even begun a Smart Meter tax revolt to protect their customers. Records with the Ontario Energy Board reveal that 28 hydro companies – over one third of Ontario’s local energy distributors – have applied to push back the deadline to switch on their smart meter tax machines.

“I just think that these time-of-use smart meters are nothing more than tax machines to suck even more money out of our wallets and that’s why I’ve said as Premier, I would unplug this mandatory smart meter program and give every family a choice of what works for them.”

“We would eliminate the mandatory time-of-use smart meter program. We would allow families to have a flat rate just like many do today and if you want to opt-in to time-of-use that will actually work for you, then you can do that, but not every family is the same. Not every family can have all the kids showered, fed and ready for school before 7 am, not every senior citizen is going to get up at night to do the laundry.”

So my fellow Ontarians?  Do you agree with Mr. Hudak? You can post your comments below and vote in our Poll.

Yes or No to Smart Meters for Electricity in Ontario?

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Scott Beck



  1. It is a pain in the backside, but I have lowered my power consumption by almost 30% since the Smart Meter came online and my bills have been the smallest they have been in years. It does require a change of mindset and due diligence though.

  2. Its not just about staying up late to get laundry done, they actually changed the time to 7pm now because of the outcry against these “Smart Meters” (oxymoron me thinks nothing Smart about them!) We have a daughter who suffers from SEVERE Seasonal allergies and I DO mean severe, she carries an Epi Pen if she has a reaction. We have always had to turn on the Air Conditioning for her by June, up to the end of Sept for her relief. How many seniors, how many people with illnesses are there that NEED to have their Air on this summer, based on Enviro Canada, they say its going to be EXTREMELY HOT this June thru Aug… how many are these Smart Meters going to be the cause and effect of their death cause they can’t afford to turn on their air!!! They have higher than usual radiation readings around the meter since it uses electronic pulses to communicate with your power company (aka. don’t have the headboard of your bed up against the wall where your smartmeter is installed or you could get cancer). <=== From a friend who HAS had a smart meter for over 2 years.

    Now unless I missed a pretty important News Flash, aren't we still in a RECESSION? So are these new "Smart Meters" going to help us OUT of the recession or hamper it? Well, if we figure out that MOST businesses/manufacturing companies are open 9am to 5pm and the Highest Rates are 11am to 5pm… not counting the Winter Rate Cycles… the Cost to DO Business in Ontario, just went up. Will companies stay? And if they do, they are going to HAVE to pass these cost inceases on to who? Yep, me and you who have had NO SAY in these "Smart Meters". I see a Domino Effect, even the Gas Pumps that run on Hydro… ah! So that might make some sense as to WHY the increase in the past few weeks just PRIOR to these meters taking effect. But, guess who WON'T be getting an Increase? yep, the working stiff that has to pay for all these increases…

    Companies/Businesses/Manufacturers are GOING to have to raise their prices just to cover the cost of the Hydro Increases and that will NOT help the worker/Employee.

    These smart meters have to go and so do the Liberals that brought it in to Nickel and Dime us to death!

  3. I did not mean to mislead, I meant to say I have reduced my power consumption by almost 30% during the peak periods. Although I have also reduced my overall electric usage by a small percentage as well (when the kids don’t visit…lol) I too am interested in how my bills and usage fluctuate during central air time this coming long hot summer…well hot anyway, because the way this spring is going…brrrrr…summer may only arrive in mid-July.

  4. The Liberals will be going but the “smart meters” will be staying. What price progress!

  5. We were already great at keeping our cost down… no lights unless its dark and you are in the room, we bought LED lights and the Mercury Lights that lower your watts… we have a wood fireplace insert, we are all in bed by 10pm, we don’t have cable…

    Unless I start unplugging my stove, clocks and microwave… there isn’t much more to “cut”.

    I AM a firm believer that you should punish the ABUSERS, not everyone… people that keep lights on all night, cause its included in their rent!!! that’s nuts!

  6. As a traditionally conservative voter, I find Hudak’s statements on Smart Meters a bit disengenuous. He seems to be playing on the fact that Ontarians really don’t know much about how the electricity system works here.

    Ontario electric utilities have never, ever received a dime of taxpayers’ money, so calling them “Tax Machines” is just bad political spin. The government’s role in the industry is as a Regulator who approves rates and programs. When the electric industry was de-regulated in 1999, utilities actaully started supporting taxpayers by paying interest and dividends to their shareholders – the municipalities that they serve!

    Customers now and in future already have a choice between Time of Use and Fixed rates, and Hudak should know this. Customers can elect to contract with any number of electricity retailers who offer fixed price plans. Alternatively, customers can elect for the default “standard supply contract” from the utility which, going forward, will be time of use based.

    Years and years of “political” regulation (by all Parties) kept rates low by restricting or denying utilities of the rates they needed to keep the electricity system current. Much of the infrastructure is old and at end-of-life, and its now simply time to pay the piper. Hudak can put a different spin on how the industry is regulated, but let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that he will do anything to lower electricity rates.

  7. I don’t see a big news flash here, Ontario taxpayers have been nickled and dimed more and more. The social engineering part of smart meters may not effect some day workers much but shift workers, stay at home’s and seniors will be affected more so. Additional cost to hospitals, municipalities and business WILL adjust downwards so that taxpayers get hit a second time. These groups will not absorb any costs and we will be hit!

    Mike, Ontario Hydro and spinn offs are paid for by taxpayers, can you show me how electricty prices charged is enough to pay for the administration, trucks, office buildings, pensions etc?

  8. I agree with the comment from ‘Mike’. (except for the traditional conservative voter part ;-)).) Our electicity system is vital to our home and business lives. Demand is expected to grow – as it has been doing for years. And elements in the old system need updating. New supply and maintenance will cost money. We are not alone in this regard. And metering just plain makes sense. Can you imagine the oil companies deciding to apply flat rates at the gas station. And wouldn’t we all howl with indignation if they did. I prefer to pay for what I use.

  9. “Demand is expected to grow… new supply and maintenance will cost money”

    So then Pat, you’re not really paying for what you use. You pay higher prices because of what others use.

    Maybe we’d save money if we cut the cord on our neighbours leaf blower, or unscrewed his outside vanity house lighting, or a myriad of other price driving wastes of energy.

  10. check out the HEALTH PROBLEMS. they are very real!!

  11. carol tozer, Is that with or without a smart meter?

  12. Problems in Health delivery, additional users for electricty language, education and other services we expect can be traced to lack of proper preperation in dealing with immigration. 10’s of thousands are coming to Canada each year and many are not allowed to work right away, are sick or too old.

    At a time when we have large numbers looking for work, Canada takes in more, this is not fair to them or us. Lower taxes and make it possible for a parent to stay in the home and we will have more babies. period

  13. Hudak promises to eliminate DRC. What’s remarkable is that the DRC monster they now pledge to kill off is their own creation — dreamed up by the Mike Harris PC government in 1999.

    The Harris Tories wanted to privatize Ontario Hydro, but had to off-load its debt of $21 billion. They determined to allocate all of Hydro’s future revenue and tax to help pay down that debt. Unfortunately, all that projected cash flow still wouldn’t cover off the massive debt payments. This debt is now supported by the DRC on your monthly bill.

    As their Hydro privatization plans went awry and deregulation created chaos, the PCs panicked — freezing electricity rates and allowing the hydro debt to soar. When the electricity sector became politically toxic for the Tories, they lost power in 2003. The incoming Liberals started paying down the inherited debt, which slowly declined but is far from paid off. Now, the Tories hope to regain power by promising to drop the DRC from your bill — delaying the day of reckoning as they did in the past.

    Remarkably, the Hudak Tories keep claiming the Residual Stranded Debt has been paid off. As proof, they make this breathtaking assertion: At last count, the government had collected $7.8 billion from the DRC — which roughly matches the amount of the Residual Stranded Debt when the Tories concocted it in 1999. That must mean the debt has been paid off, right? But as any homeowner can attest, there’s no such thing as an interest-free debt that allows you to pay off only the principal. Yet the Hudak Tories persist with the fairy tale that a $7.8 billion debt can be paid off a decade later with precisely $7.8 billion. Last year, Ontario paid a whopping $1.6 billion in interest alone merely to service the overall stranded debt .

    A confidential briefing document prepared for cabinet last fall shows that cutting the DRC on this broader group would have a “negative fiscal impact of $500 million per year”. Any DRC relief would simply be transferring the burden from ratepayers to taxpayers. Either way, the buck stops with voters. Hudak’s thinking is the kind of political sleight of hand that damaged the province’s finances when the Tories were last in power. By playing the same game, Hudak may successfully dupe some people about the debt. But the Tory leader is fooling himself if he thinks this makes him ready to govern — and that cooking the books will never catch up to him, or the province.

  14. Hudak says hydro bills are rising because of Ontario’s “sweetheart” deal with Samsung and the feed-in tariff rates the government pays for renewable energy. He’s wrong, but that doesn’t seem to matter. Most of the cost so far is for upgrading our aging and neglected power grid. According to reports, the province hasn’t paid Samsung anything yet, though Samsung has spent millions, and most of the new renewable energy isn’t on the grid yet.

    The $7-billion deal with Samsung means Ontario gets $7 billion in investment, not Samsung. Samsung gets $437 million on top of the feed-in tariffs, but only if new plants and jobs are maintained for a certain period of time. The feed-in tariffs – what firms are paid to sell renewable energy to the grid – are scheduled to be reviewed this fall. They’re expected to be lowered, and many of the Samsung projects will be subject to the lower rates.

    Who will make up the revenue lost by taking the HST off hydro and home heating bills and who will pay the debt retirement charge if it isn’t on our hydro bills? We will, out of Ontario’s general revenue.

  15. Mr. Hudak criticizes the Liberals for introducing the HST and health-care premiums. He calls Premier Dalton McGuinty the “tax man.” But it turns out Mr. Hudak would abolish neither tax (except for the HST on electricity), because to do so would worsen Ontario’s already fragile fiscal position. So the “tax man” charge is a ruse.

  16. Please, somebody tell me when I’m talking to myself.

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