File this one in the “You’ve got to be kidding” pile. The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has approved a rate hike to cover approximately $18 million in fines and court costs associated with various hydro companies overcharging interest on past due accounts.
So, not only are we potentially seeing a 6.2% increase starting March 1, we are paying extra because the hydro companies were breaking the law.
Come on! Give me a break!
It’s bad enough I’m paying $0.051/kWh in off peak times and $0.091/kWh in peak times when the average market price is $0.0342/kWh for February 2011.
In 2009, Hydro One had a net income of $470 million (pdf link) on $4.744 billion in revenue or approximately 10% margin. WTF? I understand it operates as a private company and has to produce profit for it’s shareholders but shouldn’t it be attempting to pass some of that income back to the consumer through lower rates? We’re already being dinged for debt reduction, delivery, line loss, and whatever other things they can think of to squeeze more money out of Joe Average electricity user. Why not reduce that margin to 5% (which is still a huge net income of $235 million for Hydro One) and return $50 to each of the approximately 4 million homes in Ontario.
Stop trying to take more money from my pocket and bring your income to a more reasonable level.
As an employee I’m a bit bias, but pay an electricity bill as well. The news of the increase pissed me off too.
Just another increase in rates just like Gasoline, Water, Natural Gas, Satellite, Cable, Phones and all other “must haves”.
Some Hydro One info:
We are the largest electricity transmission and distribution company in Ontario, valued at $16.94 billion as measured by total assets (as of March 31, 2010).
We own and operate substantially all of Ontario’s electricity transmission system, accounting for about 96% of Ontario’s transmission capacity as measured by revenues.
Our distribution system is the largest in Ontario and spans approximately 75% of the province.
We distribute electricity though our 123,528 circuit km low-voltage distribution system, serving Ontario’s rural areas and municipalities.
We transmit energy through a 28,924 circuit km high-voltage network. Transmission lines are overhead except for 281 circuit km of underground lines in urban areas.
We own and operate 26 facilities that interconnect to our transmission system which can accommodate imports of about 4,600 MW and exports of about 6,000 MW.
Our transmission system also includes 280 transmission stations.
Our distribution system also includes 1,010 distribution and regulating stations.
Cumulative Smart Meters deployed: As of March 31, 2010, approximately 1,253,900
Our telecommunications business markets dark and lit fibre optic capacity to telecommunications carriers and commercial customers.
Number of vehicles/equipment in Fleet: 7,171
Other Business (primarily represented by the operations of Hydro One Telecom Inc.)
Large Industrial Customers: 133
Remote Communities Served: 21
Rural and Urban Distribution Customers (homes, farms, seasonal, small business): approximately 1.3 million
Local Distribution Companies/Municipal Utilities: 79
Full-time: 5,427 regular employees (in all subsidiaries)
Non-Regular: 2,058 employees (includes temporary, contract and part-time)
Hydro One Networks Inc.
Hydro One Remote Communities Inc.
Hydro One Telecom Inc.
Hydro One Brampton Inc.
Total electricity transmitted in 2009: 139.2 TWh*
All-time System Peak: 27,005 MW** (August 1, 2006)
2009 System Peak: 24,380 MW**
2008 System Peak: 24,195 MW**
2007 System Peak: 25,737 MW**
2006 System Peak: 27,005 MW**
*139,200,000,000 kilowatt-hours. A 100-watt light bulb burning for 10 hours would use one kilowatt-hour of energy.
**A megawatt is a measure of instantaneous demand for electricity and generation needed to meet this demand. One megawatt equals 1,000 kilowatts.
Hehe. I’m not faulting the people doing the real work at Hydro One. I’m just annoyed by the fact Hydro One pulled in nearly half a billion in profit in 2009. It’s not like I really have an alternative electricity provider so I can’t even vote with my dollar.
I hear you. We can vote for our Government though! Lol