Wednesday, April 20, 2011

April 19th: Electricity Stupidity Day in Ontario ... Again

Yesterday price hikes were announced by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB). You'll likely average about 7.28 cents/kWh after May 1st.

Yesterday the Ontario government issued a press release beginning “Ontario families can expect stable electricity bills this summer and fall due to the new Ontario Clean Energy Benefit (OCEB), which is taking 10 per cent off monthly bills for families, farms and small businesses.”

Yesterday, the IESO posted it's daily Surplus Baseload Generation Report.
At the new price, which is about 7.2 cents/kWh ($72/MWh), this surplus report means that the plan, if all goes as expected, is to purchase 468,873 MWh for a price of approximately $33.75 million dollars, or about $1.3 million dollars a day - which we will need to dump in external markets, at whatever price we can get.

The market price so far in 2011 is slightly down from the same point in 2010 ($32.60/MWh, down from $33.75/MWh). 

The Plan is to have too much supply 55% of the time - the plan is to have too much supply for over 50 continuous hours 4 separate times in the next 25 days.
The plan is to subsidize exports.
The OCEB tells you how much you'd be paying to subsidize New York, Michigan and Quebec directly, instead of through your taxes.
It's not a break for families. 
It is another way of breaking families.


  1. I wonder if the renewable-energists in the US will get exercized about Canada dumping electricity into their markets, at subsidized prices.

  2. I'm not sure I follow, we already know that overnight and weekends are low usage times. It is not practical to shutdown our nuclear reactors to lower the baseload generating surplus, is there something else you would suggest? I don't see the weekday 7-9pm timeslot as having any baseload generating surplus so this announcement should have little effect on export markets.

  3. Thank you for the comments.
    crf - that is a concern to watch. There are American producers saying it is uneconomical to build any new supply due to the glut that now exists (there, as here), and the long-term plans in the US don't rely on Canadian exports.

    ?Impact, I'm not sure I follow either! We keep exacerbating the problem by pretending it does not exist. The latest update for the SBG forecast is to have too much supply for 128 of the 144 hours in the next 6 days (and we may end up seeing it is practical to shut down some reactors for 6 days).
    We cannot handle any more supply that cannot be matched to demand - either baseload, run-of-the river, wind or nuclear. The nuclear proponents I communicate with talk of steam bypass, or Gen III and beyond reactors with load following (the LTEP doesn't). The other suppliers talk of green.

    The LTEP calls for a little more nuclear (Bruce 1 and 2 plus 2 new builds replace 6 smaller Pickering units), and a lot more wind?
    I don't understand.
    I don't think it is understandable.

    On the rate hike, my point is our taxes, or debt, pay the 10% reduction on our bills - but the escalation in the bill all goes to the new suppliers. It's a direct subsidy of new suppliers disguised as a break for consumers. It is supply we didn't need, and frequently can't use.