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Miltonians growing frustrated with increasing cost of electricity

Milton Canadian Champion
By Rachael Williams – Jul 09, 2015

Milton resident William Pettey says he is sick and tired of opening his hydro bill to find more money being “stolen from his pocket.” And he’s not the only one.

Miltonians are growing increasingly frustrated with bills that seem to be rising “out of control” without a sufficient explanation. But according to Cameron McKenzie, director of regulatory affairs for Milton Hydro Distribution Inc., the rise is the result of a rampantly growing municipality.

In 2005, Milton Hydro had 19,900 customers. By the end of 2014, that number had jumped to 35,100.

“The distribution system has to be built and maintained to provide a reliable supply of electricity to all customers,” said McKenzie.

Milton Hydro’s distribution rates account for 18 per cent of the total bill. In 2005, that figure was $26.41, increasing by just under $2 in 10 years. It now sits at $28.37. The remainder of the costs includes the transmission, electricity and market charges. Since 2005, transmission and market charges have increased by just over $3. Electricity charges have jumped from $38.77 to $84.98.

According to McKenzie, reasons for the increase include the introduction of renewable – and more expensive – wind and solar power, the elimination of coal-fired generation and increases in the cost of power from nuclear and hydroelectric power plants.

Hydro bills also include the debt retirement charge of 0.7 cents a kilowatt (kWh) per hour, which is used to pay down the $38.1-billion debt of the former Ontario Hydro. This accounts for roughly $70 annually for the average residential ratepayer.

May 1 was the most recent rate increase approved by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB), which regulates the province’s electricity and natural gas sectors. McKenzie told the Champion this rate increase amounted to 38 cents on the total bill for the average residential customer using 800 kWh per month.

Time-of-use rates were also changed, effective May 1. The electricity portion of the average residential customer increased by $5.71 per month, or 4.6 per cent.

But to Pettey, he sees this increase as an excuse for the province to take his money and leave him in a position where he cannot “purchase goods and services in this province” because of a “dwindling disposable income.”

Pettey reached out to his local MPP, Indira-Naidoo Harris, who told him even with rate increases, electricity bills are still below the forecast that was set in the Province’s 2013 Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP). She added, a larger proportion of the rate increases have been applied to on-peak periods, which during summer weekdays is from11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Milton resident Brad Gresham also voiced his concerns about hydro rates when last November, his bill came with an insert saying increases would be implemented as a result of the 2013 ice storm.

McKenzie told the Champion an OEB rate rider of $1.09 per month, which slightly varies depending on customer class, was approved to recoup the $940,000 in costs absorbed by Milton Hydro. It is slated to end April 30, 2016.

In order to save some money on hydro, McKenzie offered the following tips:

• use washers, dryers and dishwashers after 7 p.m. at night off-peak electricity rates

• close the curtains and windows during the day to stay cool

• during summer nights, open the windows and enjoy cool evening air. This also improves air quality and removes humidity

• avoid heating your home with appliances. Consider cooking on the barbeque or using a clothes line, or adding more cold foods and salads to your diet

• use fans instead of air conditioners

• if you are using central air, make sure you close vents located in rooms that do not need to be cooled

• turn off lights when leaving a room

• use energy efficient light bulbs

• when purchasing appliances, look for the Energuide label

Residents can expect changes to their Milton Hydro bills. The debt retirement charge will end at the end of this year. The Ontario Clean Energy Benefit, which provides eligible customers a 10 per cent rebate applied to the first 3,000 kWh per month on the total cost of electricity charges, is also scheduled to end in December.

On January 1, 2016, the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) comes into effect, which will provide ongoing and on-bill rate assistance to low-income customers. According to McKenzie, the Independent Electricity System Operator will collect funds and send the money to the utilities, who will then apply the credit to the bills of qualified low-income customers.

For more information on Milton Hydro charges, visit https://www.miltonhydro.com/understanding-your-bill/.
Milton Canadian Champion
ByRachael Williams

Milton resident William Pettey says he is sick and tired of opening his hydro bill to find more money being “stolen from his pocket.” And he’s not the only one.

Miltonians are growing increasingly frustrated with bills that seem to be rising “out of control” without a sufficient explanation. But according to Cameron McKenzie, director of regulatory affairs for Milton Hydro Distribution Inc., the rise is the result of a rampantly growing municipality.

In 2005, Milton Hydro had 19,900 customers. By the end of 2014, that number had jumped to 35,100.

“The distribution system has to be built and maintained to provide a reliable supply of electricity to all customers,” said McKenzie.

Milton Hydro’s distribution rates account for 18 per cent of the total bill. In 2005, that figure was $26.41, increasing by just under $2 in 10 years. It now sits at $28.37. The remainder of the costs includes the transmission, electricity and market charges. Since 2005, transmission and market charges have increased by just over $3. Electricity charges have jumped from $38.77 to $84.98.

According to McKenzie, reasons for the increase include the introduction of renewable – and more expensive – wind and solar power, the elimination of coal-fired generation and increases in the cost of power from nuclear and hydroelectric power plants.

Hydro bills also include the debt retirement charge of 0.7 cents a kilowatt (kWh) per hour, which is used to pay down the $38.1-billion debt of the former Ontario Hydro. This accounts for roughly $70 annually for the average residential ratepayer.

May 1 was the most recent rate increase approved by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB), which regulates the province’s electricity and natural gas sectors. McKenzie told the Champion this rate increase amounted to 38 cents on the total bill for the average residential customer using 800 kWh per month.

Time-of-use rates were also changed, effective May 1. The electricity portion of the average residential customer increased by $5.71 per month, or 4.6 per cent.

But to Pettey, he sees this increase as an excuse for the province to take his money and leave him in a position where he cannot “purchase goods and services in this province” because of a “dwindling disposable income.”

Pettey reached out to his local MPP, Indira-Naidoo Harris, who told him even with rate increases, electricity bills are still below the forecast that was set in the Province’s 2013 Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP). She added, a larger proportion of the rate increases have been applied to on-peak periods, which during summer weekdays is from11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Milton resident Brad Gresham also voiced his concerns about hydro rates when last November, his bill came with an insert saying increases would be implemented as a result of the 2013 ice storm.

McKenzie told the Champion an OEB rate rider of $1.09 per month, which slightly varies depending on customer class, was approved to recoup the $940,000 in costs absorbed by Milton Hydro. It is slated to end April 30, 2016.

In order to save some money on hydro, McKenzie offered the following tips:

• use washers, dryers and dishwashers after 7 p.m. at night off-peak electricity rates

• close the curtains and windows during the day to stay cool

• during summer nights, open the windows and enjoy cool evening air. This also improves air quality and removes humidity

• avoid heating your home with appliances. Consider cooking on the barbeque or using a clothes line, or adding more cold foods and salads to your diet

• use fans instead of air conditioners

• if you are using central air, make sure you close vents located in rooms that do not need to be cooled

• turn off lights when leaving a room

• use energy efficient light bulbs

• when purchasing appliances, look for the Energuide label

Residents can expect changes to their Milton Hydro bills. The debt retirement charge will end at the end of this year. The Ontario Clean Energy Benefit, which provides eligible customers a 10 per cent rebate applied to the first 3,000 kWh per month on the total cost of electricity charges, is also scheduled to end in December.

On January 1, 2016, the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) comes into effect, which will provide ongoing and on-bill rate assistance to low-income customers. According to McKenzie, the Independent Electricity System Operator will collect funds and send the money to the utilities, who will then apply the credit to the bills of qualified low-income customers.

For more information on Milton Hydro charges, visit https://www.miltonhydro.com/understanding-your-bill/.
Milton Canadian Champion
ByRachael Williams

Milton resident William Pettey says he is sick and tired of opening his hydro bill to find more money being “stolen from his pocket.” And he’s not the only one.

Miltonians are growing increasingly frustrated with bills that seem to be rising “out of control” without a sufficient explanation. But according to Cameron McKenzie, director of regulatory affairs for Milton Hydro Distribution Inc., the rise is the result of a rampantly growing municipality.

In 2005, Milton Hydro had 19,900 customers. By the end of 2014, that number had jumped to 35,100.

“The distribution system has to be built and maintained to provide a reliable supply of electricity to all customers,” said McKenzie.

Milton Hydro’s distribution rates account for 18 per cent of the total bill. In 2005, that figure was $26.41, increasing by just under $2 in 10 years. It now sits at $28.37. The remainder of the costs includes the transmission, electricity and market charges. Since 2005, transmission and market charges have increased by just over $3. Electricity charges have jumped from $38.77 to $84.98.

According to McKenzie, reasons for the increase include the introduction of renewable – and more expensive – wind and solar power, the elimination of coal-fired generation and increases in the cost of power from nuclear and hydroelectric power plants.

Hydro bills also include the debt retirement charge of 0.7 cents a kilowatt (kWh) per hour, which is used to pay down the $38.1-billion debt of the former Ontario Hydro. This accounts for roughly $70 annually for the average residential ratepayer.

May 1 was the most recent rate increase approved by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB), which regulates the province’s electricity and natural gas sectors. McKenzie told the Champion this rate increase amounted to 38 cents on the total bill for the average residential customer using 800 kWh per month.

Time-of-use rates were also changed, effective May 1. The electricity portion of the average residential customer increased by $5.71 per month, or 4.6 per cent.

But to Pettey, he sees this increase as an excuse for the province to take his money and leave him in a position where he cannot “purchase goods and services in this province” because of a “dwindling disposable income.”

Pettey reached out to his local MPP, Indira-Naidoo Harris, who told him even with rate increases, electricity bills are still below the forecast that was set in the Province’s 2013 Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP). She added, a larger proportion of the rate increases have been applied to on-peak periods, which during summer weekdays is from11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Milton resident Brad Gresham also voiced his concerns about hydro rates when last November, his bill came with an insert saying increases would be implemented as a result of the 2013 ice storm.

McKenzie told the Champion an OEB rate rider of $1.09 per month, which slightly varies depending on customer class, was approved to recoup the $940,000 in costs absorbed by Milton Hydro. It is slated to end April 30, 2016.

In order to save some money on hydro, McKenzie offered the following tips:

• use washers, dryers and dishwashers after 7 p.m. at night off-peak electricity rates

• close the curtains and windows during the day to stay cool

• during summer nights, open the windows and enjoy cool evening air. This also improves air quality and removes humidity

• avoid heating your home with appliances. Consider cooking on the barbeque or using a clothes line, or adding more cold foods and salads to your diet

• use fans instead of air conditioners

• if you are using central air, make sure you close vents located in rooms that do not need to be cooled

• turn off lights when leaving a room

• use energy efficient light bulbs

• when purchasing appliances, look for the Energuide label

Residents can expect changes to their Milton Hydro bills. The debt retirement charge will end at the end of this year. The Ontario Clean Energy Benefit, which provides eligible customers a 10 per cent rebate applied to the first 3,000 kWh per month on the total cost of electricity charges, is also scheduled to end in December.

On January 1, 2016, the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) comes into effect, which will provide ongoing and on-bill rate assistance to low-income customers. According to McKenzie, the Independent Electricity System Operator will collect funds and send the money to the utilities, who will then apply the credit to the bills of qualified low-income customers.

For more information on Milton Hydro charges, visit https://www.miltonhydro.com/understanding-your-bill/.

http://www.insidehalton.com/news-story/5716502-miltonians-growing-frustrated-with-increasing-cost-of-electricity/

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