Barrett fears Nov. 1 hydro rate hike will force more to ‘heat or eat’

October 16th, 2015

SIMCOE – The news of yet another unaffordable increase in electricity rates as a result of failed energy policies was met with disapproval from MPP Toby Barrett.

Yesterday, the Ontario Energy Board announced hydro rates will increase on Nov. 1, 2015. This means the average customer will pay $53 more each year for hydro – an 8.7% increase for on-peak rates.

“The Premier and Energy Minister will dismiss this increase as only a few dollars per month, but the cumulative effect of increases after increase means the average Ontario family will struggle further to make ends meet,” Barrett said. “In my 20 years in office, I’ve never received as many calls on a single issue as the price of electricity. These increases are the result of mismanagement of the electricity sector.”

In May of this year, ratepayers already experienced an average increase of 68 dollars to their annual hydro bill.  Moreover, with the upcoming cancellation of the Clean Energy Benefit in January – which provides a 10% reduction on electricity bills – customers will once again see their rates increase. And then there’s $8.70 per year for the average customer to pay for the new Ontario Electricity Support Program for low-income families.

“It’s not that I am against low-income support programs, but what this government just doesn’t get is it’s not just the low-income earners who are struggling with their electricity bill, it’s the middle-class also,” Barrett said. “Electricity rates wouldn’t be so high if it wasn’t for the billions of dollars of waste and inefficiency.”

As well, electricity bills are expected to continue to escalate.

“By this Government’s own estimates, the average person’s hydro bill will continue to skyrocket for the next decade,” Barrett added.

Barrett concluded, “The Government needs to realize that the electricity system is there to serve the people of Ontario. They need to start taking into consideration customers’ ability to pay.”


For more information, contact MPP Toby Barrett at 519-428-0446 or [email protected]