Ontario’s soaring hydro bills offset conservation efforts and hurt conservers most: study

Soaring hydro costs are offsetting ratepayer conservation efforts and hurting conservers most, according to a new joint study by the Consumer Policy Institute and Energy Probe.

Conservation alone can’t protect Ontario ratepayers from soaring hydro bills, according to a joint study released by Toronto-based think tanks Energy Probe and Consumer Policy Institute.

Ontario ratepayers are being told that conservation will save them money, but soaring hydro costs are offsetting those efforts and leading to greater-than-inflation monthly bill increases. Ratepayers that were already conservers are seeing some of the largest percentage increases to their monthly bill, the study finds.

Average ratepayers who cut their overall monthly electricity consumption by 10% since 2006 and reduced peak electricity consumption by 25% have seen their monthly bill increase by nearly 40% over that time, or 2.5 times the rate of inflation in the province.

For those ratepayers who were already conservers, their monthly bill has increased by 60% since 2006, or nearly 4 times the rate of inflation.

“Soaring hydro bills are outpacing any reasonable conservation efforts by ratepayers,” says Brady Yauch, author of the study and Executive Director of the Consumer Policy Institute. “For those ratepayers who already used less-than-average power or moved their consumption to off-peak hours, the bill increases have been particularly severe.”


For inquiries, please contact:

Brady Yauch
Executive Director and Economist of Consumer Policy Institute
(416) 964-9223 ext 236


2 thoughts on “Ontario’s soaring hydro bills offset conservation efforts and hurt conservers most: study

  1. I am not opposed to charging more for hydro but with qualifiers.
    Hydro i would consider a public monopoly and should charge what the market will bear for its services. (It would be nice if it could do so efficiently). The proceeds could offset regressive taxation like income and sales taxes. Higher prices would also encourage conservation and better resource use. I suggest tiered pricing, with a low initial homeowner rate (perhaps free) for a minimal bandwidth of usage, so that those of lesser means are protected and those who consume more pay more.

    Tiered pricing has worked very well in similar areas, such as water charges in Santa fe, where usage is half that of their brethren in California. At the same time the public monopoly becomes a public good by using proceeds to pay for other public services
    Paraic Lally


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