Rural ratepayers to see electricity bills decrease by an average of $540 a year

Today Ontario passed legislation that will rebate the provincial portion of the HST from electricity bills as of January 1, 2017.

The Ontario Rebate for Electricity Consumers Act, 2016 will reduce electricity costs by 8 per cent on the amount before tax, an average savings of about $130 annually or $11 each month, for about five million residential consumers, farms and small businesses.

Rural electricity ratepayers will receive additional relief, decreasing total electricity bills by an average of $540 a year or $45 each month.

“The government recognizes the need to do more to ensure an affordable energy system for everyone and is committed to providing electricity rate relief that will benefit ratepayers in a meaningful way. Starting January 1, we will provide an 8 per cent rebate to provide extra relief for Ontario’s families, farms and small businesses.”
— Glenn Thibeault, Minister of Energy

Commercial, institutional and industrial ratepayers would also benefit from up to 34 per cent lower electricity costs through the expansion of the Industrial Conservation Initiative.

Making electricity more affordable is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

QUICK FACTS

The province is reducing costs for eligible rural ratepayers by providing additional funding to the Rural or Remote Rate Protection (RRRP) program.

The Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI) provides a strong incentive for large electricity consumers to shift their electricity consumption to off-peak hours to reduce their bills by up to one-third. Ontario intends to expand ICI to help reduce cost pressures on the electricity system and enable more consumers to reduce their electricity bill by up to one third.

Ontario has removed the Debt Retirement Charge from residential electricity bills and introduced the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) to provide a monthly credit to low-income households who have applied and meet the eligibility requirements to help reduce electricity costs.

Since 2003, Ontario has invested more than $35 billion in over 16,000 megawatts (MW) of new and refurbished clean generation, including nuclear, natural gas and renewables – this represents about 40 per cent of our current supply.

Bracebridge Generation buys three water power generation companies

Bracebridge Generation has purchased three waterpower generation companies located in Haliburton County.

The acquired companies are Drag River Water Power Inc. and Irondale River Water Power Inc. both located near the Village of Haliburton, and Elliott Falls Power Corporation located near Minden.

“These acquisitions are part of a long term strategic plan to grow our green energy generation portfolio” said Chris Litschko, Chief Executive Officer of Lakeland Holding Ltd. “Company growth over the past 10 years has resulted in our staff becoming experts in construction, operation and maintenance of green electricity generation. Important to the Elliott Falls acquisition is it provides us with the ability to upgrade that facility in the future to produce more green power.”

Bracebridge Generation already owns a waterpower generation plant in Bancroft with staff travelling from its Bracebridge headquarters to service the plant.

“These acquisitions made operational sense since we were already travelling past them on our way to Bancroft. Adding these new facilities will improve efficiencies and reduces our overall costs” said Vince Kulchycki, Chief Operating Officer, Lakeland Holding Ltd.

In addition to these three acquisitions the company also started construction in 2016 on a $16.9M upgrade at its Cascade Generation station in Parry Sound.

“After years of negotiations we are fortunate to announce these acquisitions and the commencement of a multi- million dollar upgrade in Parry Sound all within months of each other,” said Litschko.

The acquisition near Minden took seven years of negotiations.

“I liked this plant from the start and it was obvious the owners took as much pride as we do in its operation and maintenance. A lot can happen over seven years, so to finally obtain this generation company was very gratifying and we look forward to generating green electricity well into the future.”

With these three acquisitions and after completion of the Cascade generation station upgrade in 2017, Bracebridge Generation will have invested $50M since 2005.

The investments have increased its green waterpower generation portfolio from three generation plants producing 2 megawatts to nine plants producing 15 megawatts that at full capacity can supply up to 13,500 homes with green electricity.

Company growth has occurred through mergers, acquisitions, expansions and station upgrades resulting in ownership of waterpower generation plants throughout the provincial areas of Hastings, Haliburton, Muskoka, Almaguin and Parry Sound.