Friday, May 11, 2012

Monthly Ontario Electricity Export Figures

Every month Ontario's Ministry of Energy puts out an offensively dishonest misinterpretation of our electricity export profit/loss ledger.
It is here for April now:

Electricity Exports Continue to Generate Revenue:
"Ontario's electricity market generated over $20 million in April by exporting electricity to other states and provinces, bringing total net export revenues to over $75 million this year.
This revenue helps Ontario:

  • Keep costs down for families
  • Build and maintain a clean, reliable and modern electricity system"
Here's a shorthand way to calculate how this absolutely does not "keep costs down for families."



"Total Market Demand" includes both Ontario Demand, and exports.  The value of 1 MWh of electricity, within that market, is the average Hourly Ontario Electricity Price (HOEP).  The amount recovered by the HOEP is not enough to meet Ontario's contracted obligations to suppliers (and the OPA), so the difference is collected through a mechanism called the Global Adjustment (GA).

Total Market Value = [Total Market Demand]*[HOEP] + [GA]

For April, the Total Market Value demand is estimated as $796.1 million, with 209.3 of that from the market HOEP, and the remainder from the Global Adjustment.

Average Price = [Total Market Value]/[Total Market Consumption]

For April, the total market demand was 12.16TWh, so the average price was $65.45.  This is the amount all consumers would pay if all consumers paid the same.
But they don't.  Large industrial users now get a break, but the big difference is that export customers don't pay the global adjustment portion.  For April, that means the average price paid was $65.45/MWh, but export customers paid $17.21/MWh

Export Subsidy = [Total Net Exports]*[Average Price] - [Total Net Exports]*[HOEP]
For April, Net Exports of 1.05TWh had a value of $69 million at the  Average Price , but were sold for around $20 million, so the other $49 million has to be paid by somebody else.

Specifically, Ontario families.

The figures on export sales are estimates based only on the HOEP (hourly Ontario Energy Price) - in actuality export customers pay different rates.  Because Ontario's market pricing is lower, sometimes much lower, than adjacent jurisdictions, it appears from both the ministry 'news' releases, and National Energy Board reporting, we generally export power about 10% above the HOEP rates.  The above formula's yield a figure of $18.15 million for the net export amount the ministry provides as "over $20 million".


Looking at some other figures from the same dataset, we'd expect to see the retail price plan moving away from the Average Price I have calculated for the entire market - and we do.   The graph shows consumer rates start far below market rates (during Ontario's peak demand year of 2005), but since 2010's arrival, the combination of removing Ontario's largest industrial customers from the full impact of the traditional global adjustment mechanism, and the inability to curtail cheap exports, are moving rates higher for "Ontario families" even as the Average Price, taking into account all market segments, has been relatively stable.

That stability is unlikely to continue.


The google spreadsheet, including the graphs, is here

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