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I remember when oil prices went through the roof in the 1970s. Some Albertans were sporting bumper stickers that said, "Let them freeze in the dark." It's ironic that the Ontario government might make that a reality just over 40 years later. It's also ironic that Ontario Hydro and Ontario were pushing all electric homes in the 1970s. That was to sell the electricity being produced by new nuclear reactor generators. Now we have to convert those homes to use natural gas in order to afford heat and hot water. The way some of those homes were built, the conversion is very costly but cost effective with today's electricity prices.
 

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Back in the days of oil heat electricity was a better option.

Had the province stayed with the same sources of power generation, built more clean coal/nuclear - invested in transmission lines from quebec electricity would be gas killer now with today's heatpump technology.

Could have also used the power to electrify existing rail, build lots of new rail and pull a lot of transport trucks off the highways.

Now we have natural gas/wind/solar generation and it's so expensive you can't use it for anything substantial, pushing people to burn gas for everything.

Gas is a bridge fuel to lots of gas, and if the price spikes again we'll be screwed....

 

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Part of the problem is that Nanticoke coal generator was shut down due to pressure from the US. It was the largest, most polluting plant in NA so it's a good thing it was shut down. However, Ontario should have gained similar concessions from the US and replaced it with cost effective alternatives. Instead, Ontario cancelled two gas generating plants, at huge cost with no payback, and decided to pay ridiculously high rates for solar and wind generation. That wouldn't happen in a free market. Ontario should have stayed with unregulated market rates, as originally planned, and completely exited the electricity market. It would have caused some short term pain but the long term benefits would be greater.
 

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Don't know about the privatization thing, I think opg should stay in and build/operate most of the plants. In theory publicly owned power plants are cheaper.

As for shutting down power plants a better strategy would have been to clean them up or totally rebuild on the same sites using the latest emission control technology.

The fuel isn't the problem, it's how it's used. The nitrous oxides, mercury, sulfer, etc can mostly be cleaned from the exhaust.

Could also be doing things like district heating with the waste heat.

There's no thought or creativity going into their policies.
 

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So much misinformation in this thread. First off - Ontario has a very clean grid as the only hydrocarbons burnt to create electricity in ON is Natgas and that is typically less than 1/5 of the power sources. Alberta has a very dirty grid that uses lots of coal. Ontario shut off its last coal plant a few years ago. Check out this website for near real-time data on Ontario's electricity generation and consumption: Gridwatch | Web App

The Ontario government has been screwing up the electricity market in the province for over a century. Whoever said that the system was better prior to the breakup of Ontario Hydro is living in a dream world. Ontario Hydro was an unmitigated disaster that you and I have been paying for from 1998-2015 (and still going in some places) because when Ontario Hydro was split up the debt of OH was worth WAY more than the assets that were split up into OPG, H1, etc. So we have had to pay off that debt with a surcharge of $0.007/kWh as a "Debt Retirement Charge" on our electrical bills. IMHO we would be far better off if we let the free market take over rather than the bastardized semi-government system that we have had in Ontario where the government reacts to complains of high electricity bills by doing dumb things like giving a rebate which is then paid for out of general government revenue. They don't allow market incentives to work, instead they raise taxes for all of us. And don't blame it all on the Liberals as the Conservatives are just as much to blame.

Just got my electric bill since the price increase. Even sitting in a quiet, dark house my rate went through the roof. So discouraging. I will never, ever, buy an electric vehicle because that is one of the biggest lies this government has done. You buy one and you'll end up paying through the nose to charge it. Thanks but no thanks
Dude - do the math! Even with current low gas prices the cost of fuel for electric cars is way less than gas. I own a Tesla Model S. My previous car was a Lexus GS350. They are both similar sized cars. With the Lexus my km'age was 13L/100km. In the Tesla my energy usage is 220Wh/km. The cost of fuel to travel 1000km would be about $163 in the Lexus (assuming $1.25/L for 130L premium fuel) and $33 for the Tesla (220kWh at an all-in off-peak rate of $0.15/kW). So the price of electricity would have to go up 5X (while gas stays the same) before "fueling" an electric car is more expensive than gas.

Electric cars are fabulous. The Tesla Model S is a freakin' awesome car. The only downsides to EVs are range anxiety (which is being dealt with by the growth of charging stations) and high prices. Assuming those issues are dealt with EVs will take over the market in the next couple of decades.

It is very unlikely that adding electric cars will increase the requirement for power as you have the incentive to charge overnight when rates are lowest and electric cars allow you to schedule the charge start time via a timer. What that will do is smooth electricity demand from the high peaks during the day. However there are currently some dumb incentives like free EV charging in many office complexes that do increase peak demand - those have to be dealt with. If you drive a Tesla and park at First Canadian Place or Brookfield Place you get a prime parking spot and free power - that can't last.

If there is widespread adoption of EVs there will be other issues to deal with first, like installing facilities to allow folks in apartments and condos to charge and how to deal with overnight street parkers.

I could go on about microFIT, but I will leave it there for now.
 

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Latest gross rate...... bill total/kwh.......no rentals

$ .2713 per kwh

I imagine by end of year it will be over $ .30
 

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@otown47 - That seems really high - but perhaps you are a low user and the fixed costs really increase your rate. Are you on TOU or a single rate?

With Toronto Hydro on my most recent bill (for April and May) I used 6545 kWh and paid $1176. That is about $.18/kWh on average. The bulk of my usage, about 2/3 is off-peak. I have a very large house with two HVAC systems, a hot tub, a (gas and solar) heated swimming pool and I have an electric car that is charged most nights. But my water heaters are NatGas. But the swimming pool wouldn't have kicked in yet on this bill, nor would the AC. So 6545 for a two month period is as low as my usage gets, at least since I got the electric car.


FYI I am using the unadjusted kWH usage. The adjusted amount is 6791 which reduces the average rate to $0.173. And all of these numbers include HST.
 

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Does the $0.18/kwh include all the other rediculous charges such as delivery cost, retirement debt etc. I bet if you were to add up all the other fees your actual per kwh rate will be closer to double what you quote.

And we were better of under Ontario Hydro. We the consumers were conned and scammed by the gov't that Ont Hydro was bad. They turned us against Ont Hydro by constantly playing up the fact that all the Hydro employees were over paid free loaders.

Just wait they will do the same with the LCBO to justify selling it. Then like hydro rates the cost of a bottle of wine will go thru the roof.
 

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The $0.18 is the grand total of my bill divided by the usage in kWh.

I hugely disagree with you regarding Ontario Hydro and the LCBO. Liquour sales is not a natural monopoly, unlike electricity transmission or distribution. There is no reason to have a monopoly, let me buy beer, wine and spirits at the grocery store like almost every other country in the world.

Ontario Hydro was a huge fiasco - we weren't scammed that is was bad - IT WAS BAD. That is why we had a debt retirement charge for so long and what we have today is largely the legacy or Ontario Hydro split into H1 and OPG with a minor amount of privatization on generation and distribution.

Perhaps you haven't heard but socialism and communism have been abysmal failures.
 

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"Perhaps you haven't heard but socialism and communism have been abysmal failures."

Perhaps you haven't seen what has happened in Russia since they moved away from communism?

I'm not promoting communism, but we do elect governments with the expectation that they will do a good job with providing us with certain social benefits and security. Not throw us under the bus to be at the whim of the private sector whose sole motivation is making as much profit as possible without giving back to the community.
 

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Wayne, you are living large. I used to have all that stuff and don't miss it...especially the bills. Anyway my usage is a fraction of yours.....less than 500 kwh last month. We have a small bungalow, new so very energy efficient, and there's just the 2 of us.

Have fun....
 

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Ontario Hydro was a huge fiasco - we weren't scammed that is was bad - IT WAS BAD. That is why we had a debt retirement charge for so long and what we have today is largely the legacy or Ontario Hydro split into H1 and OPG with a minor amount of privatization on generation and distribution.
Corporations can be badly managed, it doesn't matter whether public or private.

The basic difference is that crown corporations work in the interest of the public, private corps especially those that are publicly traded siphon money off to individual shareholders.

Crown corporations either don't make much profit or pay the governments dividends -> the money goes towards roads, health/education, debt-repayment and reduces the need to raise taxes.

The LCBO is good - a total success story, brings in cash, makes it difficult.

Ontario hydro took a huge risk with new unproven CANDU technology and lost. There were huge cost over-runs and the reactors needed re-tubing prematurely.

The crown corp also didn't charge enough for electricity to cover the debt.

Nuclear power the way it was handled (not anti-nuclear, i see it as a necessary evil) and a failure to invest in new infrastructure in the 90s sunk ontario hydro.


Quebec and manitoba have to my knowledge 100% public hydro utilities like ontario did, but they have mostly low cost, low risk hydro. Pretty successful if you ask me.

Had more to do with mismanagement and taking risk to develop new technology than the fact that ontario hydro was public.

Public has disadvantages - ie governments not wanting to do politically unpopular things like charge the true cost of electricity, pile on the debt -> forcing the crown corporations to mismanage their finances/go into debt.



total private stinks -> you have for profit companies moving money from the common man to the rich shareholders. Private monopoly with no competition since the end user can't choose where to buy the power from, which company's transmission lines to use.

The Communications sector in canada has become a total fiasco -> you get to choose between bell and rogers even if you use a 3rd party provider. (the internet/phone/tv still uses the same lines and the providers pay royalties)

As it it bell/rogers have horrible customer service and have a stranglehold on the communications market, and that's with two choices -> totally rip people off, over-charge.

Now imagine what electricity would be like if all the distribution utilities were private, you only have one choice. In theory you could have one gaint private for profit company owning all the lines, power plants, etc -> huge monopoly, only worse. I would rather have a government monopoly than a private for profit one.

California did an experiment with privatization and look how well it worked out -> I think it was enron that pulled a lot of power plants offline to drive up the cost of electricity, siphon money off, produced rotating blackouts, also overloaded the grid at some points to collect money, pulled off a lot of other crap.
 

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Wayne, out of curiosity, what was your use before the electric car?

Your 6000+ kwh every 2 months is what an energy efficient modest house would use up in a year.

you can drive your tesla but the more typical person in a modest house or apartment even with a with a gasoline suv, incandescent bulbs probably uses a heck of a lot fewer resources than you do.

totally proves that energy efficiency doesn't necessarily reduce consumption.
 

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I'm puzzled why people believe a household moving from a gas vehicle to an electric vehicle wouldn't increase their electric consumption substantially.

People who I've talked to who are familiar with the NA electrical grid have told me that the grid would need a lot of work if/when electric vehicles become popular.

I think the whole "nah, electric vehicles would all just charge at night". Well, I think that would probably make the night time the peak use of the grid. Charging a electric car is no small thing. There is a reason why they use 240v outlets for the things.
 

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If people charge electric cars at night, it would minimize the impact on the electrical grid and keep costs low. I have such little faith in human nature that I doubt it will happen. If, for example, chargers at work places become a popular fringe benefit then the incentive will be to charge cars at work and not at home. That will place a huge load on the electrical grid mostly during peak times. I've seen things like this happen on many occasions. Another issue is that large companies will be able to produce their own electricity off site to minimize their own peak use costs while forcing grid improvements that will be carried by all grid users. It's just another way that the average rate payer will get screwed while the well heeled walk away with huge, possibly untaxed, fringe benefits.
 

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People are dumb, very dumb, you would have to have chargers that lock out during peak periods for that to work.

electric cars are stupid, just shifts the fuel burning from under the hood to a power plant.
 

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it's barely more efficient. you can get near 40% efficiency out of a good deisel engine, a lot of power plants are 30 to 40%. some combined cycle plants are 50% +/-.

battery storage stinks, is very expensive and if fuel switching seemed like a good goal a far more practical solution would be to electrify rail along with above ground public transit. it's possible even with busses, they work same way as streetcars without the tracks.

no batteries, no silly rebate*s. easier to manage, can do cost analysis.

*what happens with subsidies is that when they go away, the programs die.

can do pilot projects before rollout out a massive program.

the green energy act has been a disaster and so will any government program involving financial incentives/disincentives won't work.
 

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A few thoughts:

1. A major benefit of electric cars is that there are lots of different ways to create electricity. With gasoline or diesel, you need a very specific fuel that can be more easily disrupted (supply-wise).

2. Electric cars are substantially subsidized today. I see a lot of "green" folk claim that oil and gas are massively subsidized, but I don't think that's true. Or, at least, it's a very deceptive statement. While you could find instances of a particular subsidy going to oil/gas companies, per unit of energy created, the oil/gas sector has far fewer subsidies than the renewables companies.

This is especially true when you consider that when you put gas in your car, there are many additional taxes that are added in addition to the typical sales taxes. For example, gas users pay a extra tax for road creation and upkeep. Electric vehicles still use the road, but don't pay a fuel tax for use of said roads. I imagine that tax will (and should) transition to electric vehicles in some way, shape, or form in the future.

I could go on and on about the whole "oil and gas companies get lots of government subsidies" argument, but I'll save the space here and say: if anything, the net effect is that the oil and gas companies subsidize the government (provincial and federal), not the other way around.

3. Electricity prices vary widely from place to place, and if each household with a electric car uses ~35% more electricity than a household without one, I don't think that amount of increase can be shifted into "spare generation capacity" time frames very well in real world scenarios. Lots of new power generation would need to come online. And the transmission capacity of many electrical grids would need to be upgraded substantially.
 

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1. A major benefit of electric cars is that there are lots of different ways to create electricity. With gasoline or diesel, you need a very specific fuel that can be more easily disrupted (supply-wise).
Diversification is always good. the best form of transportation would give the option of using gas or electricity - ie chevy volt.

Do not kid yourself into believing that it has anything to do with reducing pollution. it's about being more flexible.

by the same token, it's good to have a second source of heat like a wood stove.

the reality too is that the majority don't have the funds or resources to become flexible. got to own property, got to have the funds, and most don't. also people with resources would rather blow money on vacations or granite counters than planning for disaster & the inevitable collapse.
 
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