Monday, April 27, 2015

Why Doesn't the Media Report the Year on Year Ontario Hydro Increases? On Peak Electricity Pricing Up 19.2% Year on Year

With news that the electricity price increases coming May 1st for Ontario will be particularly high, I'm wondering why the media never reports the year over year increases. Ontario power prices are raised every May 1st and every November first, but the media usually only reports on the six month increase and doesn't bother looking at the yearly increase, which would be useful for comparing to Ontario's inflation rate.

This CBC article has the price increases coming May 1st and this Toronto Star article has the increases that happened on November 1st 2014.

For on peak pricing, the price per kWh is increasing on May 1st from 14 cents to 16.1 cents, a 2.1 cent increase or 15%. The on peak increase on November 1st was from 13.5 cents to 14 cents, a 3.7 increase. Thus the year over year increase, from 13.5 cents to 16.1 cents, is 2.6 cents or a 19.2% increase which is obviously significantly more than Ontario's inflation rate.

For mid-peak, prices will increase on May 1st from 11.4 cents to 12.2 cents, a 0.8 cents increase or 7%. On November 1st, the price increase from 11.2 cents to 11.4 cents, only a 1.8 percent increase. Year on year the increase was 1 cent or an 8.9% increase, again significantly above Ontario's inflation rate.

Finally for off-peak, the increase on May 1st is 0.3 cents, from 7.7 cents to 8 cents, a 3.9% increase. On November 1st, the price increased from 7.5 cents  to 7.7 cents, a 0.2 cent increase or a 2.7% increase. Year over year the increase was 0.5 cents from 7.5 to 8 cents, a 6.7% increase, which is well above Ontario's inflation but nowhere near the massive increase in on peak pricing.

The Ontario Liberals have crafted an electricity policy where prices have skyrocketed, despite relatively low natural gas prices and neighbouring states and provinces having seen no such crazy price increases. Starting in January, the 10% Ontario Clean Energy benefit will end, which will give an even bigger boost to electricity prices in Ontario. Unfortunately the media hasn't done a very good job of putting these prices in context.

For another post I'll look at the price increases over two years.

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