Ontario Liberals introduce $100 million fund to help homeowners reduce hydro bills

News Oct 25, 2017 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

There could be thousands of people who will use the recently created Affordability Fund to help pay for their high hydro bills.

Brian Bentz, president of Alectra Utilities Inc. said the fund, announced Oct. 24 at the Alectra Utilities Inc. John Street office in Hamilton, will assist low-income people who continue to deal with high hydro bills.

“It’s a really important initiative for consumers who don’t qualify for the traditional low-income grants,” said Bentz, who was joined at the news conference with Ontario Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault, Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale Liberal MPP Ted McMeekin and Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger.

The $100-million program will give residents LED lights, heat pumps and energy-efficient appliances to reduce their energy costs.

Homeowners will also qualify for home energy kits, which include light bulbs, power bars and faucet aerators residents can install themselves. Residents can also qualify for in-home visits and possibly energy-efficient appliances, such as air conditioners and refrigerators, thermostats and even heat pumps.

The program is available to those individuals who don’t already qualify for low-income energy conservation programs.

Officials say residents can save about $10 on their annual electricity costs, while an energy efficient refrigerator can help save about $90 in annual electricity costs.

Ontario residents, including in Hamilton, have condemned the skyrocketing electricity rates over the last year and a half.

Hamilton Mountain NDP MPP Monique Taylor, who was at the announcement, agreed low-income residents need help in cutting their high electricity costs.

“We will look at the plan further,” said Taylor. “Do families need support? Absolutely.”

But the reason for the high hydro costs is because of the Liberals’ failed plan and they are complicating the issue by borrowing money to cut rates.

“It does nothing to address (the cost) of the Liberals borrowing $40 billion,” said Taylor. “What will it look like in a generation?”

To get those rates reduced, Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals introduced their Fair Hydro Plan — which began July 1, 2017 — that is projected to cut the average Ontario household electricity bill by 25 per cent from the peak energy costs that were seen in the summer of 2016.  Hamilton’s average household electricity bill will see a 28 per cent reduction, said Bentz.

The Liberals also introduced the 8 per cent HST rebate on electricity bills that kicked in January.

In a report this month Auditor General of Ontario Bonnie Lysyk questioned how the Fair Hydro Plan is being financed in a special 53-page report, saying the province is “improperly” accounting for the $26 billion in debt it’s taking on to cut hydro bills in the short term. Lysyk stated the plan will cost residents an additional $4 billion in interest charges over the next 30 years.

The Liberal plan, though, will cost the province about $45 billion over the next 29 years, while saving ratepayers $24 billion for a next expense of $21 billion.

The government has justified borrowing the money to pay ratepayers by comparing it to refinancing a mortgage to enjoy lower payments over a longer period.

But a 56-page KPMG analysis prepared for the Independent Electricity System Operator concluded the government’s accounting was fine.

Ontario Liberals introduce $100 million fund to help homeowners reduce hydro bills

News Oct 25, 2017 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

There could be thousands of people who will use the recently created Affordability Fund to help pay for their high hydro bills.

Brian Bentz, president of Alectra Utilities Inc. said the fund, announced Oct. 24 at the Alectra Utilities Inc. John Street office in Hamilton, will assist low-income people who continue to deal with high hydro bills.

“It’s a really important initiative for consumers who don’t qualify for the traditional low-income grants,” said Bentz, who was joined at the news conference with Ontario Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault, Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale Liberal MPP Ted McMeekin and Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger.

The $100-million program will give residents LED lights, heat pumps and energy-efficient appliances to reduce their energy costs.

Homeowners will also qualify for home energy kits, which include light bulbs, power bars and faucet aerators residents can install themselves. Residents can also qualify for in-home visits and possibly energy-efficient appliances, such as air conditioners and refrigerators, thermostats and even heat pumps.

The program is available to those individuals who don’t already qualify for low-income energy conservation programs.

Officials say residents can save about $10 on their annual electricity costs, while an energy efficient refrigerator can help save about $90 in annual electricity costs.

Ontario residents, including in Hamilton, have condemned the skyrocketing electricity rates over the last year and a half.

Hamilton Mountain NDP MPP Monique Taylor, who was at the announcement, agreed low-income residents need help in cutting their high electricity costs.

“We will look at the plan further,” said Taylor. “Do families need support? Absolutely.”

But the reason for the high hydro costs is because of the Liberals’ failed plan and they are complicating the issue by borrowing money to cut rates.

“It does nothing to address (the cost) of the Liberals borrowing $40 billion,” said Taylor. “What will it look like in a generation?”

To get those rates reduced, Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals introduced their Fair Hydro Plan — which began July 1, 2017 — that is projected to cut the average Ontario household electricity bill by 25 per cent from the peak energy costs that were seen in the summer of 2016.  Hamilton’s average household electricity bill will see a 28 per cent reduction, said Bentz.

The Liberals also introduced the 8 per cent HST rebate on electricity bills that kicked in January.

In a report this month Auditor General of Ontario Bonnie Lysyk questioned how the Fair Hydro Plan is being financed in a special 53-page report, saying the province is “improperly” accounting for the $26 billion in debt it’s taking on to cut hydro bills in the short term. Lysyk stated the plan will cost residents an additional $4 billion in interest charges over the next 30 years.

The Liberal plan, though, will cost the province about $45 billion over the next 29 years, while saving ratepayers $24 billion for a next expense of $21 billion.

The government has justified borrowing the money to pay ratepayers by comparing it to refinancing a mortgage to enjoy lower payments over a longer period.

But a 56-page KPMG analysis prepared for the Independent Electricity System Operator concluded the government’s accounting was fine.

Ontario Liberals introduce $100 million fund to help homeowners reduce hydro bills

News Oct 25, 2017 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

There could be thousands of people who will use the recently created Affordability Fund to help pay for their high hydro bills.

Brian Bentz, president of Alectra Utilities Inc. said the fund, announced Oct. 24 at the Alectra Utilities Inc. John Street office in Hamilton, will assist low-income people who continue to deal with high hydro bills.

“It’s a really important initiative for consumers who don’t qualify for the traditional low-income grants,” said Bentz, who was joined at the news conference with Ontario Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault, Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale Liberal MPP Ted McMeekin and Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger.

The $100-million program will give residents LED lights, heat pumps and energy-efficient appliances to reduce their energy costs.

Homeowners will also qualify for home energy kits, which include light bulbs, power bars and faucet aerators residents can install themselves. Residents can also qualify for in-home visits and possibly energy-efficient appliances, such as air conditioners and refrigerators, thermostats and even heat pumps.

The program is available to those individuals who don’t already qualify for low-income energy conservation programs.

Officials say residents can save about $10 on their annual electricity costs, while an energy efficient refrigerator can help save about $90 in annual electricity costs.

Ontario residents, including in Hamilton, have condemned the skyrocketing electricity rates over the last year and a half.

Hamilton Mountain NDP MPP Monique Taylor, who was at the announcement, agreed low-income residents need help in cutting their high electricity costs.

“We will look at the plan further,” said Taylor. “Do families need support? Absolutely.”

But the reason for the high hydro costs is because of the Liberals’ failed plan and they are complicating the issue by borrowing money to cut rates.

“It does nothing to address (the cost) of the Liberals borrowing $40 billion,” said Taylor. “What will it look like in a generation?”

To get those rates reduced, Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals introduced their Fair Hydro Plan — which began July 1, 2017 — that is projected to cut the average Ontario household electricity bill by 25 per cent from the peak energy costs that were seen in the summer of 2016.  Hamilton’s average household electricity bill will see a 28 per cent reduction, said Bentz.

The Liberals also introduced the 8 per cent HST rebate on electricity bills that kicked in January.

In a report this month Auditor General of Ontario Bonnie Lysyk questioned how the Fair Hydro Plan is being financed in a special 53-page report, saying the province is “improperly” accounting for the $26 billion in debt it’s taking on to cut hydro bills in the short term. Lysyk stated the plan will cost residents an additional $4 billion in interest charges over the next 30 years.

The Liberal plan, though, will cost the province about $45 billion over the next 29 years, while saving ratepayers $24 billion for a next expense of $21 billion.

The government has justified borrowing the money to pay ratepayers by comparing it to refinancing a mortgage to enjoy lower payments over a longer period.

But a 56-page KPMG analysis prepared for the Independent Electricity System Operator concluded the government’s accounting was fine.