Now that the winter heating season is upon us, residents once again face the shock of opening their monthly electricity bills.

The Report by Auditor-General Bonnie Lysyk into the “smart meter” hydro electricity scandal confirmed what you have been telling me about electricity costs and billing practices in Ontario; the system is out of control! What is also clear, is that it has nothing to do with our local electricity distribution companies like Ottawa River Power, or Renfrew Power, or our local employees of Hydro One. The fault lies with a high electricity rate policy that was developed by the same small clique of advisors who have fled Toronto, and now surround the inexperienced leader of the federal liberal party in Ottawa.

In the case of local complaints about so called “smart” meters, complaints came exclusively from Hydro One customers. Residents and businesses served by our local utilities seem generally pleased with their service.

Ironically, just like the federal liberal gun registry that ended up costing taxpayers a wasted billion dollars over budget, according to the provincial Auditor General, projected costs for smart meters had already reached almost $2 billion (a billion over budget) and are still climbing! Every hydro customer is charged for the new meter. It is listed as another hidden “distribution” charge to be added to the rising cost of electricity that has resulted in the loss of thousands of manufacturing jobs in the province of Ontario. Of note, in other provinces like Quebec and British Columbia, customers are given a choice whether or not they want a smart meter.

The main reason electricity is now so expensive in Ontario is the carbon-type tax the province levies on every bill. It is itemized as the “Global Adjustment.” On page 377 of her Report, Auditor-General Lysyk confirmed that “The Global Adjustment is an extra charge, resulting from a government policy decision.” In her independent report, the Auditor General observed that since 2006, the global adjustment paid by electricity customers has grown from $654 million to $7.7 billion in 2013, an increase of almost 1,200%, while the average market price of electricity has dropped 46%!  Worst of all, the province plans to continue increasing the charges it adds to your power utility bill. The Auditor-General also stated that ratepayers thought the smart meters must be faulty, when in reality consumers were not aware that the huge price increase in their bills were caused by the global adjustment/carbon tax that had been added to their power bill by the Toronto liberal party.

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