News Headlines

November 2017

Media Round Up November 17


Ontario energy companies and consumers are in search of ‘smart’ electricity decisions
Financial Post - On Thursday, the Ontario Electricity Stakeholders Alliance issued a series of recommendations that included urging the government to stick to broad planning while empowering regulatory bodies to carry out their designated functions with a greater degree of independence.

Hydro One CEO says rate hike needed to keep the system stable
CP24 - Hydro One has applied for a rate increase in order to keep the power system stable, its president and CEO said Thursday. Speaking after delivering remarks to the Empire Club, Mayo Schmidt spoke about the application that's currently before the Ontario Energy Board, which seeks to increase rates by 0.5 per cent this year and 4.8 per cent next year.

THIBEAULT: NDP misses mark on Fair Hydro Plan
Toronto Sun - It’s not surprising to see Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath fear mongering about the electricity system:  (“Ontarians pay hydro price for Liberal smoke-and-mirrors”, Nov. 7.)

Ontario electricity companies billed $12.4 million last year to tell customers their power could be cut off
Global News - Alice Petrova’s electricity was cut off last year. She lives in Toronto and after withholding payment from Toronto Hydro for several months over a billing dispute, the company cut her off.

Canada, Britain to tout coal phase-out as U.S. champions fossil fuels
The Globe and Mail - Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and her British counterpart, Claire Perry, will launch an international alliance to phase out coal-fired electricity at the Bonn climate summit this week, signalling a sharp contrast to U.S. President Donald Trump's promotion of coal as an important global energy source.

  

Media Round Up November 10


HORWATH: Ontarians pay hydro price for Liberal smoke-and-mirrors
Toronto Sun - In September, the NDP got its hands on and released internal government documents showing that Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government is on a $5.5-million spending spree for ads promoting their hydro-borrowing scheme.

Ontario Power says Darlington project on track, income lower from shutdown
Financial Post - Ontario Power Generation says that its multibillion-dollar Darlington refurbishment is on time and on budget one year into the project. The crown corporation says in its quarterly results that about $4.1 billion of the $12.8 billion budgeted for the refurbishment had been spent as of Sept. 30.

Hydro One's pursuit of Avista cuts into Q3 profit, revenue down from last year
CTV News - Hydro One Ltd. (TSX:H) says its third-quarter profit was down six per cent from last year as a result of costs associated with the proposed $6.7-billion acquisition of Avista Corp., a U.S. utility company based in Spokane, Wash.

EPCOR to become new utility provider in Collingwood area after Alectra sells shares to town
CTV News - Alectra Inc. has decided to sell its 50 per cent ownership of Collus PowerStream to the Town of Collingwood. The sale brings an end to the partnership that began in August 2012 between the town and Alectra’s predecessor utility, PowerStream.

Ontario on track for next generation of clean trains?
Toronto Star - The province is considering investing in cutting edge hydrogen-powered trains for the GO Transit network, touting the benefits of what it says could be the next generation of clean trains. Rail vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells would be emissions-free, quiet, and potentially superior to traditional electric trains.

  

Media Round Up November 3


Hydro: Ontario permanently bans winter disconnection from electricity
Electricity customers in Ontario struggling to pay their hydro bills will no longer need to worry about being disconnected during the winter. The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) announced Thursday it has permanently banned utility companies in the province from disconnecting residential customers for non-payment between Nov. 15 and April 30 of the following year.

Enbridge says Line 3 project progressing despite rising scrutiny in Minnesota
CTV News - Enbridge said Thursday that its Line 3 pipeline replacement program is progressing well, even as it faces intense scrutiny on the project in Minnesota. CEO Al Monaco said on a third-quarter earnings call that the company is making good progress on the line, with construction already underway in Canada and Wisconsin and the project expected to be finished in mid-2019.

Rare metal used in electric cars causes a cobalt rush in Cobalt, Ont.
Toronto Star - Ironically, Cobalt, Ont. — population 1,100 — was built on silver. Remnants of a boom that transformed the town more than a century ago are everywhere. A mine headframe still protrudes from the roof of the bookstore, which was previously a grocery. 

La Caisse lends Innergex Renewable Energy $150 million to support its international expansion
Canada Newswire - La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (la Caisse) announced today a loan of $150 million to Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. ("Innergex") (TSX: INE), an independent Canadian leader in renewable energy.

The short-circuit in Ontario’s manufacturing sector
PLANT - Soaring electricity costs have devastated Ontario’s manufacturing sector. In the 1990s and into the 2000s, Ontario was a low-electricity-cost jurisdiction. This competitive advantage helped attract business and foster economic growth in the province.

Federal nuclear lab advances plan to build small modular reactor in Ontario
Canadian Manufacturing - The eastern Ontario nuclear lab behind much of the technology that led to Canada’s first CANDU reactors more than 50 years ago is aiming to pioneer the next, smaller generation of nuclear power plant.

  

October 2017


Media Round Up October 20


Customers could pay steep price for Ontario’s hydro plan, auditor warns
Global News - Ontario’s Auditor General, Bonnie Lysyk, is warning Ontarians to brace themselves for increasing hydro rates as a result of Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Fair Hydro Plan. According to a special report released Tuesday, the price of the Liberal’s “needlessly complex” solution to rising energy costs in Ontario could be as much as $39.4 billion – more than twice the government’s estimate.

Ontario's energy minister defends Fair Hydro Plan accounting
CBC News - Ontario Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault says Ontario's Auditor General may not like the accounting behind the Liberal's Fair Hydro Plan, "but that's the way we've always done this." This week, auditor general Bonnie Lysyk released her report on the the Liberal's "Fair Hydro Plan." That plan has reduced the average household electricity bill in the province by 25 per cent.

High electrical costs have driven thousands of manufacturing jobs from Ontario: report
The Globe and Mail - Ontario's soaring electricity bills have driven numerous factories out of the province according to a new report from the Fraser Institute, leading to a loss of nearly 75,000 manufacturing jobs since the end of the 2008 recession.

Ontario seeking to strike down constitutional challenge of costly energy fee
Financial Post - The Ontario government wants to quash a constitutional challenge of its global adjustment fee, a controversial surcharge on power bills that is estimated to have cost electricity customers billions of dollars.

Alectra Utilities officials enters negotiations to merge with Guelph Hydro
Hamilton News - Nearly a decade after rejecting a proposed merger with Horizon Utilities, Guelph City Council is preparing to vote on another merger, this time with the giant Alectra Utilities.

  

Media Round Up October 13


Exhibition Place wind turbine hasn't produced power since March
CBC News - The wind turbine that symbolized Ontario's push for green energy is at a standstill and won't be generating electricity until next month at the earliest, CBC News has learned. The  turbine located at Exhibition Place was damaged in a storm in March, and it hasn't worked since. 

Ontario PCs call for auditor to investigate delays, cost of Darlington refurbishment  
Global News - A day after Global News released documents alleging Ontario Power Generation pursued a “deliberate management strategy” to get artificially low estimates at the massive $12.8 billion Darlington nuclear refurbishment, Ontario’s official opposition says it will ask the province’s Auditor General to investigate.

Belle River Wind power facility complete in Lakeshore
CTV News - Samsung Renewable Energy, Inc. and Pattern Energy Group LP announced Tuesday their 100 megawatt Belle River Wind power facility has completed construction and is fully operational.

Cheap power on business group's wish list
Toronto Sun - Ontario may be a great place to live, but not necessarily a great place to do business. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce, which represents 135 chambers of commerce and boards of trade across the province, released its wish list Wednesday in time for the 2018 provincial election.

Hydro One to fight ruling that bars it from passing certain expenses on to customers
Financial Post - Hydro One is preparing to challenge a ruling issued by the Ontario Energy Board last month that found it could not pass along certain costs related to the utility’s privatization to its transmission customers.

Government of Canada promotes innovation for economic growth and jobs in Ontario - Shortlisted superclusters initiatives will energize regional economies and create jobs 
Government of Canada News - The Government of Canada is demonstrating its commitment to growing the economy and creating middle-class jobs for Canadians by moving forward with the Innovation Superclusters Initiative. The Initiative will leverage a federal investment of up to $950 million to catalyze public-private partnerships in innovative industries across the country.

  

Media Round Up October 6


Energy regulator orders Hydro One to cut administrative budget by $30 million over two years
Toronto Star - Ontario’s electricity customers shouldn’t foot the bill for “unreasonably high” compensation for Hydro One’s senior staff, the province’s energy regulator said as it ordered the company to cut its administrative budget by $30 million over two years.

Canada's renewable energy growth projections scaled back after Ontario scraps clean energy program: Report
Financial Post - A new report expects growth in Canadian renewable energy capacity to slow in the next five years compared to earlier projections, a decrease that comes after Ontario scrapped a contentious clean energy program aimed at boosting wind and solar supplies.

TransCanada won't proceed with Energy East pipeline
CBC News - TransCanada says it won't proceed with its Energy East pipeline and Eastern Mainline proposals. Russ Girling, the Calgary-based energy company's chief executive officer, said in a statement that National Energy Board and Quebec officials will be informed TransCanada won't go forward with the applications.

Regulator won't let Hydro One subsidiary pass certain expenses on to customers
Financial Post - A provincial regulator is trying to prevent a subsidiary of Ontario’s Hydro One Ltd. from making its customers pay for some of the costs related to the utility’s privatization.

Too much of Ontario’s waste is going to landfill: enviro watchdog
Toronto Star - The old adage may be “waste not, want not,” but Ontario’s environmental watchdog warns the province’s waste diversion efforts are wanting. “Ontario has a waste problem; every year, Ontario produces nearly one tonne of waste per person and three-quarters of this ends up in landfills,” Environmental Commissioner Diane Saxe said Wednesday.

  

September 2017


Media Round Up September 29


Getting set to welcome Ontario Power Generation as first time public debt borrower
Financial Post - It has only one shareholder, has been a reporting issuer for more than 17 years, has at last count $4.39 billion of long-term debt, but has never accessed the public debt markets — until now. Welcome to the world of Ontario Power Generation (OPG), which defines itself as “an Ontario-based electricity generation company whose principal business is the generation and sale of electricity” in that province.

Province to spend $5.5M on advertisements for hydro bill cuts
CTV News - Ontario's Liberal government has earmarked $5.5 million to advertise cuts to hydro bills -- ads the opposition says use public money to make the Liberal party look good. In response to a freedom of information request by the New Democrats, government documents cite "negative media coverage" of rising electricity costs as a key piece of context for why the advertising campaign is needed.

Ontario Energy Association Releases New Public Opinion Poll
Media Release - In conjunctions with its ENERGYCONFERENCE17, the Ontario Energy Association (OEA) today released a new public opinion research that focuses on energy issues.  The poll was conducted for the OEA by Innovative Research Group during the September 11-18 period.

Why nuclear power is the backbone of Ontario’s clean electricity system
TVO - In an opinion piece published August 25, energy analyst Richard Laszlo wrote that nuclear power was a costly, dying technology. Nothing could be further from the truth. In Ontario, the average cost of nuclear energy is about seven cents per kilowatt-hour of generation. That’s 41 per cent less than the average residential rate. Only hydroelectricity is cheaper, but marginally so.

 

The Ontario Energy Board releases its decision on Hydro One's 2017-2018 transmission revenue requirement application
Media release -  Hydro One Networks Inc. (Hydro One) announced today that the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) issued a decision regarding Hydro One's 2017/2018 Transmission Revenue Requirement and Rate Settlement application (Board File No.: EB-2016-0160).  

  

Media Round Up September 22


Ontario natural gas bills to decrease after two quarterly increases
Global News - Natural gas rates are going down for customers in Ontario on Oct. 1. The Ontario Energy Board approved new rates for Enbridge, Natural Resource Gas Ltd. and Union Gas. The average Enbridge customer will see their bill decrease by about $51 a year.

Manufacturer launches challenge against power fee that has cost Ontarians billions
Financial Post - A Canadian manufacturer of railroad freight cars has launched a constitutional challenge aimed at the legitimacy of an Ontario energy fee estimated to have cost the province’s electricity customers $37 billion in less than a decade.

IESO Releases Final Round of Contract Offers under Ontario's Feed-in Tariff Program
IESO - Ontario's Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) announced today that it will offer 390 contracts representing about 150 megawatts (MW) of small-scale renewable generation. Results of the procurement show strong participation, more than 80 percent, from Indigenous, community, municipal and public sector entities. These contracts conclude the most recent procurement under the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) Program, known as FIT 5.

Ontario’s political leaders pitch farmers on province’s future
The Globe and Mail - The next general election won't be held for eight months but Ontario's political leaders are already pulling on their boots and walking through thick mud to promise farmers that their party has the best plan for the province's future

CUPE appealing dismissal of lawsuit over partial Hydro One sale
Toronto Sun - The Canadian Union of Public Employees is appealing a court decision that tossed its lawsuit against the Ontario government over the controversial partial sale of Hydro One.

 

  

Media Round Up September 14


Why Ontario must take action on the Energy East pipeline
TVO - Many residents of North Bay are breathing a sigh of relief now that TransCanada has decided to reassess the viability of its Energy East pipeline project — but some feel the province should be doing more to protect their community.

Ontario Announces Results of September Cap and Trade Program Auction
Government of Ontario News - Today, Ontario announced the results of the province's third auction of greenhouse gas emission allowances, held Sept. 6, 2017. A total of 25,296,367 current (2017) allowances were sold at a settlement price of $18.56 CAD and a total of 3,116,700 future (2020) greenhouse gas emission allowances were sold at a settlement price of $18.03 CAD. 

Hydro One sending crews to Florida to help restore power after Irma
Toronto Star - Hydro One is sending crews to Florida in an effort to support the millions of people left without power in the wake of hurricane Irma. The operator of Ontario’s largest electricity distribution system says it’s getting ready to send 175 employees south.

Northland Power renews investor enthusiasm with green-energy initiatives
The Globe and Mail - Just more than a year ago, chief executive John Brace had to hit the pause button on growth initiatives at Northland Power Inc., one of the country's largest renewable-power companies: Its board of directors decided to launch a strategic review in July, 2016, a process that was widely expected to see the $4-billion company sold to a rival or pension fund. Chinese power producers were reported to be kicking tires.

Hamilton police report mischief to Enbridge pipeline
Global News - Hamilton police say they’re investigating multiple instances of mischief to an oil pipeline in the city. Police provided few details about the incidents involving the pipeline, which runs through Hamilton and is owned by Enbridge Inc.

  

Media Round Up September 8


Ontario energy efficiency programs won’t work
Toronto Sun - The Wynne government is once again pursuing high-cost energy programs that will yield minimal benefits for Ontarians. This time the government has its sights set on energy efficiency programs.

TransCanada asks NEB to halt federal review of Energy East pipeline
The Globe and Mail - TransCanada Corp. is seeking to halt a federal review of its $15.7-billion Energy East pipeline, raising the possibility the project could get scrapped in a move that would spare Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from having to make a politically charged decision on the project's fate.

Why aren't northwestern Ontario's state-of-the-art energy facilities producing any energy?
TVO - Atikokan, located between Thunder Bay and Fort Frances, is home to the largest 100 per cent wood biomass generating facility in North America — but between 80 and 90 per cent of the time, it generates nothing at all. Thunder Bay boasts a state-of-the-art advanced biomass station, but for approximately 98 per cent of the year, it, too, lies idle.

Natural gas infrastructure expands into rural Ontario
Daily Commercial News - Union Gas has announced approvals for two natural gas pipeline projects in rural southern Ontario and also revealed it has formally applied for funding under a new provincial program that will see hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of other remote gas infrastructure projects undertaken by the firm and its competitors.

Public asked for input on customer service rules for Ontario energy utilities
CNW - Are there any times when Ontario energy utilities shouldn't be allowed to disconnect customers? How much time should customers be given to pay and should they be allowed to use credit cards? Should energy utilities be allowed to ask for security deposits?

  
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