High hydro Rates Hurting Businesses in Oshawa

Last week I had the opportunity to attend ‘Lights Out!’: a forum on the cost of energy in Ontario, hosted by The Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce. The panel focused on the rising costs of hydro and the impact it has on business and industry in Ontario.

Speaker, what I heard from the presenters was that however bad we imagine the situation to be, it’s worse.

They spoke about how the system has been designed to benefit political objectives, rather than to support growing businesses.

They spoke about how this Government signed contracts at high, fixed rates, and left ratepayers and businesses on the hook.

And spoke about how high rates drove away manufacturing, causing demand for energy in the province to drop, leaving us all paying more for their fixed rate contracts.

I also heard their assessment of the Liberal Hydro scheme – they saw right through it. They know that its short term thinking that will just cost us more in the end.

And Speaker, it was interesting to hear that while the Government defends time of use pricing – which the NDP plan would eliminate – local industry has realized that time of use pricing doesn’t work.

For example, one high power using industry switched to nights to reduce costs. Turned out that with all of the transportation, labour and other shift costs, it was more cost effective to run smack in the middle of the day.

So much for incentive.

Speaker, it was an excellent event and it provided some valuable insight into how this government’s mismanagement has hurt us all.

Their energy policies have hurt our businesses and they’ve hurt our potential.

It’s time that we turn things around.