Ontario’s big secret: Why electricity rates rise

Since 2002 Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG’s) price of nuclear power has risen by 60%. And to add insult to injury OPG is now seeking a 180% price increase in hydro rates to pay for the continued operation of its high-cost Pickering Nuclear Station and the re-building of Darlington’s aging reactors.

Meanwhile, OPG continues to tell MPPs and other decision makers that nuclear power is our lowest cost option for keeping the lights on and that it is simply not possible to import low-cost power from Quebec. Both of these claims are false.hydro rates

According to Hydro Quebec’s CEO, Eric Martel, Quebec has 3,000 megawatts of surplus power available for export. Furthermore, according to Mr. Martel, Hydro Quebec is more than willing to sign long-term fixed-price export contracts.

Hydro Quebec has power available to export for at least 99% of the hours in a year. It can further increase the power it has for export by improving energy efficiency in Quebec and continuing to develop its significant low-cost wind power potential.

Our public utility and the nuclear lobby should stop spreading “alternative facts.” We need an honest discussion based on transparent information about whether keeping the 46-year-old Pickering Station running and rebuilding the 30-year-old Darlington Station makes sense.

And instead of playing shell games designed to hide the rising cost of nuclear power, our government should be looking at grabbing some real cost savings—by making a deal with Quebec.

Please send an email to Premier Wynne premier@ontario.ca or call her at 416 325 1941. Tell her you want to see Ontario secure some real cost savings by making a long-term deal with Quebec to permit the closing of the Pickering Nuclear Station in 2018 when its licence expires. 

You can also contact your MPP and tell them you want to see real savings. You can find your MPPs contact info here. If you don’t know your electoral district, click here.  

— Angela Bischoff