‘You can’t cancel that’

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Farm groups weigh in on provincial Conservatives’ proposal to axe microFIT


It's good to finally see someone come out in support of the taxpayers and consumers who are forced to pay for all of this protectionist-leaning micro-fit nonsense.

Good economics might just eventually prevail if Hudak gets elected - at least the race is going to be interesting.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Hudak has my vote. I'm tired of supporting this "green energy welfare" with my hydro rates. Hopefully Hudak brings some sense to this lunacy.

I'm a conservative, but I can't ignore the truth. Hudak is practicing pure politics, stirring up discontent by spreading falsehoods. Here are the facts:

• Solar and other renewable energies are not the reason our Hydro rates are going up. All the contracts under the FIT and MicrFIT programs that have been issued so far represent 1080 Megawatts of electricity. That equates to a 0.16% increase in electricity rates or $2.69 per year per Hydro customer. The reason rates are going up is because of 30 years of neglect of electricity infrastructure, and the fact that we’ve not paid the real price for Nuclear, Coal, Gas, and Hydro.

• Less that 1.5% of all the electricity that will be produced under the FIT/MicroFIT programs will be paid at 80.2 cents/kWH. In fact, the average price the government will pay is closer to 18 cents.

• The government estimates that private sector investment in renewable energy will be $9B

• Some 50,000 jobs will be created

• Solar produces electricity precisely when Ontario needs it most – during the day in the summer.

• During summer, when Ontario can not meet demand it buys electricity from New York State at times for $1.35/kWH

• It is estimated that 9000 people in Ontario die prematurely each year because of poor air quality caused in part by coal fired electricity

• Nuclear may not be the whole answer (as we recently say in Japan)



Jim Cummings
President & CEO

Clearly Solar Inc.
109-35 Auriga Drive
Ottawa, On, K2E 8B7
w) 613 820 2701
m) 613 797 8350

Governments are elected to introduce, and/or cancel, projects as, and when, they see fit. If we, the electorate, like the decisions government makes, the government gets re-elected, if we don't like the decisions, we elect a new government, period.

Any business person, or investor, getting "into bed" with government knows, or should know, that any deal with government can, and often does, go sour overnight, and therefore, should never complain when government changes its mind.

Almost always, the loudest noise heard when government changes its mind, is the sound of highly-subsidized gravy boats, in this case those of the solar power industry, smashing against the harbour wall.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

As my retired Bay Street lawyer turned beef farmer said when I asked him about these MicroFIT contracts, any contract you ever sign with the government is only binding on YOU in the long run.

Having heard Tim Hudak speak at the Ontario Economic Summit, I know he is capable of a far more intelligent approach, and this a clearly a play for votes rather than a genuine attempt to address rising energy costs.

It really grates when politicians of any stripe willfully ignore economic realities for short-term political gain, and he's lost my respect by playing political games with this issue. Hudak has a long way to go to prove himself a worthy leader of the party of Bill Davis or "Chairman of the Board" John Robarts.

Maybe the subsidies being offered by McGuinty to prime the pump of the green energy industry in Ontario aren't the best answer, or maybe they are, but they're better than no answer at all, or an answer designed for a ballot box rather than to provide a stable power grid for our farms, homes and businesses.

Thank you, Mr. Cummings, for setting the record straight.

Terence Johnson.

From my perspective as an economist, it clearly is Mr. McGuinty's Liberals who are "willfully ignoring economic reality for short term political gain", not Mr. Hudak.

As proof, just look at the McGuinty government's about-face last summer when it caved into political pressure to reverse its decision to reduce the amount of public money needlessly being paid to solar power producers.

As another example of an answer "designed for a ballot box", nothing smells more than Mr. MdGuinty's abrupt about-face about off-shore wind turbines earlier this year.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

There has been much effort made in the media to lead the public to believe that their electricity bills have been spiralling due to the cost of subsidies to wind and solar initiatives of our energy conservation programs. The 80 cents/kilowatt hour (kWh) for solar is frequently cited as the greatest offender, even though that rate only applies to rooftop solar with a capacity of 10 kW or less. In total, such installations currently amount to just 34 MW out of the 37,000 MW of installed generation in the province. Not mentioned are the subsidies paid to our private natural gas generators, or those paid to Bruce Power, when the market price doesn’t meet their guaranteed price (which is almost all the time). The latter subsidies involve 70% of the global adjustment monies paid out, simply because they pay for the delivery of much more power. In fact, the Ontario Power Authority paid out $1.35 billion in 2010 to meet gas and nuclear power purchase agreements.
So how significant are the subsidies to renewable energy and the monies paid for conservation in a typical residential electricity bill anyway? To answer that we had better clarify what a typical electricity rate is per kilowatt hour delivered to your home. There has been much confusion about that as well.
A typical electrical bill consists of a charge per kWh of electricity used, plus a charge for transmission and distribution, plus a fixed fee to the utility, plus a regulatory charge, plus a debt retirement charge, plus HST, less the 10% the Province has just given us in the clean energy benefit. It is a complicated system to be sure. To get an estimate of a representative rate, we looked at a typical home that heats with natural gas and uses 800 kWh of electricity per month, and we compared that to a similar house with electric heat that uses typically 2500 kWh of electricity per month (averaged over 12 months). Although the costs per month obviously varied ($105 vs. $303) the cost of electricity per kWh “all in” was the same, about 13 cents.
So how much of that is due to renewables and conservation? In 2010, the Ontario Power Authority paid electricity resource costs of $317 million for conservation programs, and $269 million for renewables. That is a lot of money – but you must realize that it is recovered over a total Ontario consumption in 2010 of 142 terawatt hours (that’s 142,000,000,000 kWh), which amounts to 0.4 cents per kWh (split roughly equally between conservation and renewable subsidies). So the cost of conservation and all the renewable subsidies in 2010 amounted to 0.4 cents of the 13 cents we paid for a kWh in our homes. A significant amount, perhaps, but hardly the bogeyman that it is so often made out to be.
In fairness, it must be acknowledged that this 0.4 cent amount will rise as more green energy comes on line in future years, but in 2010 that is what it was. During these times when we are publicly discussing a long-term electrical energy plan, I think it is important to be honest about the current cost of electricity.

The Green Energy Act has had NO IMPACT on your Hydro bills yet since very few of the projects have been completed. This is the misconception that Hydak is palying on. If we don't invest in clean energy today we're going to be right back to dirty coal. It may not matter to you but it will matter to your kids and grand kids. Investing in a better tomorrow is good for Ontario and good for the world. We should all be more concerned with our health than with our wallet.

Actually most of the "projects" in our area are up and running, and what ever the millions that are being paid for these "projects" are added to my bill or tax dollars.......this is paid by all taxpayers and hydro users. Yes I'm concerned about my health and I'm concerned about wasting money on "green projects" surrounded by propoganda. Conservation would go much further than these inefficient "green projects". McGinty could have used our money to "give" every homeowner a Geothermal furnace and it would have probably cost less and accomplished more. Look at all the facts not just the green facts.

Down with Dalton in 2011!

The partisan coal and nuke trolls are out spewing their nonsense. Farmers are and should be allowed to harvest the sun. The FIT and microFIT does this. It is the only mechanism that is transparent and lets everyone participate. Best of all it only pays if you produce unlike the sweet heart deals of the past for nukes and dirty fossil fuels. Better yet the price goes down every two years. Don't feed the trolls....

FIT has turned into a corporate feeding frenzy.

@timhudak has not returned numerous phone or email messages (We have been waiting months)...Give it a try and see....

His energy critic wont ask real questions important to real Ontarians (just the same rhetoric repeated).

Will he be open ...and accountable if he is elected? Will he ever consider the value of public benefit community power?

The municipal elections showed that Ontarians want open and accountable leadership. We need a leader that respects community.

Great plan Mr. Hudak
We will get very soon where you want us to be

OSEA is paid for by the provincial government to defend the Liberal Party's policies. I wonder if when the PCs form government by winning back all those rural seats from the Liberals whether OSEA will adopt their position to keep their funding or will head off into the sunset (where solar panels dont work).

If you want to see groups like this defunded - visit http://endwindwelfare.ca to tell party leaders not to give your money to lobbyists for renewables.

Investors with contracts are ok either way. Under the current govt.,investmnent is paid off within 7 years, and increased profitability for the reamaining 13 years.Under Hudak, investers are better off long term due to the simple fact that his no plan formula guarantees increased electricity cost by ignoring the real issue on the table, how do we fund grid upgrade? So far he has no plan, so investors are ok either way but not so good for consumers.Solar costs do not increase over time unlike nuclear,a honest debate would be nice but Hudak knows he can't so he will just cater to voters apathy and ignorance.

The only real winners up front is the ones making ,selling and installing the panels. Consumers will pay for all the payout in their hydro bills over the long haul, at least in the long run everyone will prosper for having cleaner air to breathe . The cost of having to go and pay for medicine for asthma and other breathing yourself is alot more than what the hydro bill is in the end WE ALL NEED CLEAN AIR TO BREATHE..

Germany has not replaced one coal plant because of wind or solar. Most of our coal pollution comes from U.S. coal plants without scrubbers.

Furthermore, experts from 25 counties met at the world turbine noise conference in Rome in April and concluded "The main effect of daytime wind turbine noise is annoyance. The night time effect is sleep disturbance. These may lead to stress related illness in some people. Work is required in understanding why low levels of wind turbine noise may produce affects which are greater than might be expected from their levels."

Sorry, but all the wanna be greens are simply causing our hydro rates to skyrocket plus increasing our wind turbine noise stress related illness as the experts concluded.

If the greens were really serious about wind power they would be asking to put them right around the greenbelt around T.O. which would eliminate the extra grid upgrade expense.

The MicroFIT is mostly solar. The vast majority of applicants just want solar panels on their roof...

How does the FIT and MicroFIT contracts rise the price of Hydro? Individuals and Commercial buildings with these contracts are still paying their regular hydro bills at the same price as those who do not have these contracts. So whats the deal?

Because the government is paying these contracts out is no different than paying the coal or nuclear companies so what is the problem.

Is is because Hudak is tring to make Ontario a dirty province where we can not breathe. Therefore we will be paying for our hydro as usually and medication to offset the dirty air being produced by coal and nuclear - so who wins - not the citizens medication cost would equal the hydro costs so we would end up paying more out of our pockets in the long run.

Let's not forget the job creation in sustainable, renewalable and alternative energy. I say we all go off the grid and see how Hudak pocket feels then I assume it will not be heavy.

Individual scale alternative energy, that can actually be stored for off generation times (like no wind, or darkness) makes far more sense from an economic, environmental and public policy stance. Industrial wind over-powers the local landscape, forces neighbours to put up with the blight of often absentee landowners and does not provided energy storage- making a paired generation system like nuclear, gas or coal an absolute necessity. Rooftop solar on farm buildings, or a series of panels are okay, but would provide a much better return for everyone if they were net-metered rather than just sucked into the grid.

If any political party would just be honest about the true costs of their energy plans that would be a welcome relief. I won't hold my breath though.

-or maybe in provincial parks where everyone will share the enjoyment or pain rather than screw up the country side with energy projects--looking at ethanol and green energy we know that gov't favours that a lot more than producing healthy ,plentiful food...that is same way lots of advanced civilizations destroyed themselves by building on or wasting there productive farm land and drove themselves too extinction...building homes around woodstock-chatham,leamington,ect on best ground and weather in the world is pretty assinne....and still don't understand OFA supporting 80 cents kwh solar projects

The price the goverment is paying for solar hydro is to much,on the other side they don,t have to build another power plant so how much would it cost to build and run?

"Ontario Federation of Agriculture president Bette Jean Crews says the Conservatives’ proposal to axe the program if they’re elected this fall will hurt farmers, rural residents and urban dwellers who produce the green energy at reasonable prices."

Producing energy at a reasonable price. 80 cents/kW hour is not a reasonable price Mrs. Crews. And then on top of that for several weekends now, Ontario has given away between $3 and 4 million worth of energy to some of our neighbouring states and provinces. That would be on top of what we pay for wind and solar.

As for coal and nuclear. We will need to keep both as back up. Turbines only work about 23% of the time and solar only works when the sun shines. Wonder how much solar was generated in the last month?, what with all of the rain.

But then I would not have expected anything different. OFA is pro-Liberal. I hope Hudak wins big time!

Turn off the news and do some independent research people!!!! Our rates arent going up due to the feed in tarrifs.


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