I actually read a Toronto Star Tuesday when I waiting to see someone. They had a copy on the desk. The NDP story was on page 5 or so. Not on the front page.
I wonder if Wynne's response will appear on the front page today? I will be going out later for gas so I will take a look when in the store......
Kathleen Wynne will slash electricity rates by 25 per cent this year, the Star has learned.
In a dramatic move to be finalized at cabinet Wednesday, Wynne’s government is poised to unveil sweeping measures to rein in the soaring hydro bills that currently have the Liberals’ popularity plummeting.
Sources say the massive reduction in rates will come mostly by “smoothing out” the financing costs of electricity generation contracts over longer periods.
It’s the equivalent of refinancing a mortgage to enjoy lower payments over a longer time on nuclear reactors, natural gas-fired power plants, and wind turbines.
Wynne’s office refused to confirm details of the 25 per cent solution Tuesday night.
But cabinet ministers are expected to approve the plan during a noon cabinet meeting at Queen’s Park with an announcement coming as early as Thursday.
The 25 per cent reduction includes the 8 per cent rebate of the provincial portion of the harmonized sales tax that took effect on Jan. 1.
While the provincial Liberals have not convinced Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to eliminate the 5 per cent federal share of the HST on hydro bills, they have found other savings.
“We’re taking it to the next level,” Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault told the legislature during Tuesday’s question period.
“We do recognize the system that we built — eliminating coal, rebuilding the grid — that cost billions of dollars. We know that cost actually came at the expense of many families,” he said.
“We’re looking right now at doing some very quick, tangible rebates that people will see in the very, very near future,” he said.
Extending the amortization periods for the life of nuclear, natural gas and wind and solar projects instead of the standard 20-year time period could cut the expense of contracted generation by more than $1.5 billion a year.
Ratepayers should soon see the positive impact on the “global adjustment” line of their monthly hydro bill.
was added to bills in 2005 and is charged to cover the $50 billion cost of contracts with both public and private power generators who receive more than the market price for their electricity.
because most power producers in Ontario are paid more than the going rate so they can build and maintain enough gas-fired power plants and nuclear reactors to ensure a reliable long-term electricity supply.
It also helps cover the controversial green energy premiums — or feed-in tariff payments — to those who generate wind and solar power for the grid.
The benefit of essentially refinancing the global adjustment is that consumers will see a break almost immediately on their bills.
Another smaller measure the government will adopt is to stop electricity ratepayers from bankrolling the
Ontario Electricity Support Program
, which gives up to $65 a month to low-income earners struggling with hydro prices.
Instead, the cost will be transferred to the broader tax base.
The changes should not affect Finance Minister Charles Sousa’s goal of balancing the books in the spring budget.
The Liberal plan comes days after NDP Leader Andrea Horwath
to reduce rates by between 17 per cent and 30 per cent by allowing ratepayers to opt out of time-of-use pricing and capping profits for private power producers supplying the grid.