Provincial Industrial Electricity Price Consultation Underway


Government consultations on Ontario's industrial electricity prices are underway until May 31, 2019. In addition to sector-specific consultative sessions with key industries (including automotive, forestry, mining, agriculture, steel, manufacturing, and chemicals), the consultative process includes an online and in-person component. The overarching aim of the consultations are to enhance the design and effectiveness of Ontario's industrial electricity pricing and programs. Ontario currently has the highest energy rates in all of Canada, which is having an adverse effect on the competitive advantage of Ontario manufacturers relative to businesses in competing jurisdictions.

For the purpose of these consultations, key questions that Ontario businesses should be asking themselves include:
  • How realistic is it to improve your company's competitiveness by lowering your energy consumption during peak hours to control the increasingly high cost associated with the Global Adjustment (GA) charges?
  • What additional steps can the Ontario government undertake to further promote the presence and accessibility to lower-cost energy rates currently made available through energy retailers?
  • Apart from the ability to acquire a lower commodity rate through an energy retailer, to what extent would the ability to control other costs, such as delivery and/regulatory costs, further advance the cause of promoting lower-cost energy rates for businesses in Ontario?
  • Has the government's Industrial Conservation Initiative ("ICI") had any impact on operations and business competitiveness?
  • To what extent is the ICI unfair, and to what degree does in hinder industrial competitiveness?
  • Would an electricity-intensity and/or trade exposure-based energy rate mitigation program provide relief from Ontario's excessively high energy rates?
  • How does your business stand to benefit from being able to choose between (A) a dynamic and volatile pricing structure which potentially allows for greater gains in the form of lower energy rates in return for responding to price signals; and (B) a flat rate structure providing a maximum degree of stability and predictability?  Is one more beneficial or desirable than the other? Why or why not?
  • What company-wide benefits are foregone from the absence of a targeted electricity program that uses competitive evaluation process?
In addition to electricity rate design, existing tax-based incentives and reductions to system costs and regulatory and delivery costs are also part of the agenda. Electronic submissions  to "electricity.consultations@ontario.ca" are being accepted by the government of Ontario until May 31, 2019. 

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