Natural gas prices and renewable sources to blame for hydro bill spike

By Melanie Anderson, Sarnia Observer

Friday, October 25, 2013 6:26:21 EDT PM

(QMI Agency file photo)

(QMI Agency file photo)

A pair of controversial energy sources are being blamed for a spike in electricity rates hitting consumers come next month.

“It looks like higher market price for natural gas was the main driver of the prices,” said Bluewater Power CEO Janice McMichael-Dennis.

A greater use of wind energy, among other renewable sources, is also at fault.

“The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) is forecasting more generation from renewable sources so that will push the price up because certainly your renewable sources of energy come at a higher price tag than your more traditional sources,” said McMichael-Dennis.

Parker Gallant, vice president of Wind Concerns Ontario, said that a chart obtained from the OEB showed just how much more money these renewable sources were costing the province.

“It showed that the supply of energy from wind, solar, and gas — because gas has to back it up — produced 17% of Ontario’s generation.  But, if you look at the cost, it’s in excess of 43% of the total global adjustment pot,” said Gallant. “Wind and solar are basically costing us a lot of money .”

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