Currently businesses in Peterborough are dealing with price increases that are impacting competitiveness, the impact of a potential merger of PDI into Hydro One, lack of transparency around the items included in the Global Adjustment fee and now the Ontario Energy Board has decided to include cap and trade costs in the delivery charge of utilities.
This move presents a number of concerns including that it seems to be in direct conflict with the Premier’s goal of being the most transparent and accountable government anywhere in Canada.
In response to this decision the Chamber Network through the Ontario Chamber of Commerce has sent a letter to the Chair of the OEB and copied Premier Wynne and Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault requesting that cap and trade costs be their own line item on energy bills for businesses and consumers.
The letter outlines four areas of explanation as to why a separate line item is required: transparency, efficiency, sectoral applications and exemptions.
Under this area of concern, the letter outlines the need for accurate information to be available to customers so they can make appropriate choices about their energy use including:
- understanding how month-to-month emissions costs will help emphasize the value of reducing usage
- allowing Ontario businesses to properly manage and reduce their usage of fossil fuels
- offering more information than tariff sheets on a utility’s website
- creating a direct signal to customers to use less gas and invest in energy efficiency measures
- educating and influencing customer behaviour
A separate charge will enable customers to confirm they have been charged the correct amount and recognize the different treatment of large emitters in relation to the to customer-related obligations and allow for fewer incidents of customer confusion and inquiries.
Large emitters agree the charge should be separate to allow them to ensure they have been charged the correct amount.
Some users of fossil fuels (farmers and First Nations) are currently tax exempt. Will this continue to be the case if the cost is rolled into other delivery charges on the purchase of gasoline, diesel, propane, or natural gas?
The letter concludes with a call for the decision for cap and trade costs to be included in delivery charges to be reversed to allow for more transparency for businesses and consumers, and to better inform customer behaviour to help achieve the government’s emissions
Policy Analyst/Communications Specialist