Saturday, February 28, 2015

Ontario is the sucker of first choice for off-price electricity

A large and  growing amount of electricity is exported out of Ontario at prices far below what Ontario's common ratepayers pay. How this happens is complicated, but the reason it happens is not: influential groups of people benefit. In the parlance of Ontario's electricity scam, these influential people are called "stakeholders." This post is about one aspect of a system designed solely for stakeholders.

I've been writing on the costs of exports for over 4 years, primarily focused on analysis of data I've captured and/or queried. I've not been particularly entertained by doing it for about 4 years. January 2015 saw a record for net exports (exports less imports), and in the past it wouldn't have taken me long to run up a blog post saying so. In this post I'll use numbers, primarily on exports, to tell a story of influential people, and their suckers.

Maybe I'll get you to want a tax.
IESO is the cheapest market around (unidentified grey bar is MISO)

I've revisited data from the National Energy Board (NEB), and connecting figures uncovered there to previous work I've done, I'll explain an obscure but apparently growing profit centre designed into the IESO's operation of an electricity market.
The simultaneous purchase and sale of an asset in order to profit from a difference in the price. It is a trade that profits by exploiting price differences of identical or similar financial instruments, on different markets...
The IESO does not attempt to recover the full cost of supply in operating their market. In January maybe 38% of the costs of providing supply were recovered by selling at market rates, and that was better than they do most months.[1]

To estimate the money involved from the arbitrage of Ontario's electricity, the value of the purchases on the Ontario market is needed, along with the value of the resale of that electricity in other markets. Fortunately, there's data to estimate both.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

A tried and true method of reducing electricity consumption

Ontario's suckling society of electricity policy enablers remains heavily focused on the conservation message. I hope I won't needlessly brag, but our households electricity usage was reduced to about 1/3rd the level of a decade ago prior to our latest personal infrastructure project, which has dropped it a further 50% over the past month and a half. I'll concentrate in this post on my consumption experience as I develop a basis for future energy decisions.
What smart meters have done is they’ve allowed the cost of energy, the increases, to be mitigated. And so yes, the cost of energy has gone up. We are closer to paying the real cost of energy than we have been in the past. -Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne
There's a couple of points I take exception to - I'll leave addressing who "We" are until later paragraphs; first, to smart metering and household energy.
I've had a smart meter since November 2010, and I pulled some figures for a recent 45-day period to compare to the same period in past years.