December 14, 2016
OEB actions paternalistic
Last month, the Ontario Energy Board decided to protect rate payers from knowing how much the Liberal government’s cap-and-trade policy would add to their monthly gas bills.
Now the OEB has decided to relieve us of the burden of knowing how much the government’s electricity policies are affecting our monthly hydro bill.
The OEB, it seems, is worried that too much information may confuse the average Ontario taxpayer. At least that’s how they responded to Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk’s request that hydro bills be changed to increase “the awareness and transparency” of the impact of the so-called “global adjustment charge.”
The global adjustment is an extra charge that is levied to cover the gap between the guaranteed prices the Liberal government promised electricity generators in 20-year contracts and the actual market rates.
Lysyk has estimated that global adjustment accounted for 70 per cent of consumer electricity rates in 2013. If so, that’s something that should be plainly disclosed on every hydro bill.
For the OEB to contend that further transparency would only confuse ratepayers is highly paternalistic, if not down right arrogant.
Give us the information. If we get confused, we can call and ask for clarification.
Liberal Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault has again refused to intervene on behalf of the auditor general or the taxpayer on the basis that the OEB is an independent quasi-judicial regulatory body.
That’s very convenient. Thibeault may not have the power to order the OEB to change their ways … but perhaps he can at least ask. He has the power to do that.
As it is, it’s getting harder for the public to take the claim of OEB independence seriously.
Who could possibly benefit from burying the cost of the Liberal’s questionable energy policies … other than the Liberal government?
Hamilton Spectator: http://www.thespec.com/opinion-story/7020499-oeb-actions-paternalistic/
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