The Ford Government must use its next 100 days in office to show it has a workable plan to meet its promise to reduce electricity costs by 12%. And it must do so without repeating the mistakes of the previous government – turning up its nose at an incredible offer of low-cost power from Quebec and using accounting tricks to create an illusion of savings.
Step one is to take new Quebec Premier Francois Legault up on his offer to sell Ontario low-cost power. In fact, the new Quebec premier has said he sees power exports as a key way the two new like-minded governments can work together. “Of course, we have clean energy, cheap energy, compared to the nuclear, and I would like [to] make [that] our contribution and work together,” Mr. Legault told the National Observer.
This is not a new offer from Quebec – the province is keen to expand its electricity exports as it has a large and growing power surplus – but under pressure from our high-cost (and coddled) nuclear industry, the previous Ontario government refused to sign a major long-term deal. As a businessman, Mr. Ford must recognize that getting the same goods at half the price is an offer that is just too good to refuse and should immediately negotiate a smart deal with Quebec.
By saying “yes” to Premier Legault’s generous offer, Premier Ford could give every Pickering nuclear worker a $1 million severance package and still reduce Ontario’s electricity costs by $5 billion
Step two is to focus on finding real savings for electricity users instead of just hiding costs on another set of books. Electricity consumers can save big by increasing efficiency and today’s technology makes it easier than ever to do so. Delivering real bottom-line savings on bills – instead of just moving numbers around — is particularly important for rural and small town electricity consumers grappling with Hydro One’s sky-high distribution charges.Switching to more efficient heating technology, improving insulation, heating water on demand – these are the kinds of actions that can deliver real bottom-line savings for millions of Ontarians.
By paying consumers to save a kilowatt-hour (kWh), Premier Ford can avoid the need to pay Ontario Power Generation 4 to 8 times moreto produce a kWh of electricity. We all save with a more efficient system that requires fewer expensive generating stations.
Please send a message to Premier Ford [firstname.lastname@example.org] and Energy Minister Rickford [email@example.com] now telling them you want them to keep their promise by developing a real plan — not accounting tricks — to reduce our electricity costs by 12%.