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According to Premier Kathleen Wynne, we should be delighted our electricity bills are going to go up by another $124 a year starting Jan. 1, 2016.
The reason is that on that date the Liberals will finally remove the much-hated “debt retirement charge” from our hydro bills, which costs the average Ontario household about $67 a year.
The bad news, however, is that this will also be the day the Liberals, assuming they’re still in power, stop paying us the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit.
That’s essentially a bribe the Liberals have been paying us, using our own money, to get us to accept their disastrous and ludicrously expensive experiment with unreliable wind and solar power.
What the cancellation of the Clean Energy Benefit means is that our average hydro bill will rise by $180 per year starting Jan. 1, 2016, along with an additional $11 a year increase to fund a hydro subsidy for low-income earners.
Once you do all the math, it means that our hydro bills starting in 2016 will be $124 a year higher than they were in 2015.
This increase doesn’t include hydro rate hikes, which the Liberals have already told us will add 42% to our hydro bills over the next five years.
Adding insult to injury is the fact the Liberals, as of March 31, 2013, had already charged us $10.6 billion on our electricity bills to eliminate $7.8 billion of the old Ontario Hydro’s debt.
Hydro consumers began paying this charge in 2002 at the end of the Mike Harris, Ernie Eves Conservative government, part of their disastrous attempt at privatizing Ontario Hydro.
But the Liberals, who took over in 2003, added insult to injury by continuing to charge us to retire Ontario Hydro’s debt, long after they’d raised the $7.8 billion needed to retire it.
Indeed, we’re going to continue paying the debt retirement charge, which raises just under $1 billion a year for the government, until the end of 2015.
At that point the Liberals will eliminate the debt retirement charge from our hydro bills, along with the Clean Energy Benefit, costing us another $124 a year, forever.
And remember, in Wynne-tario, that’s the good news.