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Posts Tagged ‘electricity’

Spy meter

The government illegally searching your home without a warrant

Ontario’s Finance Minister, Dwight Duncan, made a shockingly candid admission on August 18, 2011, as reported by The Toronto Star. He chastised the leader of the Opposition, Tim Hudak, for promising to give Ontarians the choice of whether they want to have a spy meter in their homes to monitor their electricity usage since they were made mandatory everywhere by 2011.

He admitted that they are currently using the meters to spy on homeowners for the purpose of detecting marijuana grow operations.

Finance Minister Dwight Duncan, a former energy minister, said it’s odd that Hudak is fighting grow-ops at the same time as he is leading a crusade against “smart meters” because they help find dope.

“One of the great things about smart meters is they help you shut down grow-ops … these things give very precise measurements of how much power is used,” he said.

“I kind of laughed today. Here’s a guy out berating smart meters.”

It’s my view that Hudak is opposing spy meters purely for partisan gain in the upcoming October 6 election, but I find it revealing how Ontario’s Finance Minister made light of the government spying on its citizens through the use of these spy meters.

Oh sure, it’s about going after the bad guys. It always was and always will be. But how will they determine who is a bad guy? By regularly monitoring your electricity usage, of course.

The Canadian Constitution requires that searches be reasonable, and searches of homes require a warrant, yet here we have the Ontario government openly admitting to effectively searching Ontario homes without a warrant.

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Ditlev Engel, president of Vestas, the world’s largest provider of wind turbines, was on the Charlie Rose Show on June 17, 2010, and shared some very interesting statistics:

  • Denmark currently gets 20% of its electricity from wind.
  • Denmark’s government plans to have 100% of its electricity production free of fossil fuel by 2040.
  • Wind is one-third of the cost of solar today.
  • 2% of the world’s electricity production comes from wind.
  • 2000 employees in R&D in Vestas, the largest in wind energy R&D in the world.
  • China was the world’s largest market for wind turbines in 2009.
  • He said the U.S. has the best wind resources in the world.
  • From 2006-2008, the U.S. was their largest market. In 2009, they didn’t sign a single order in the U.S.

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In November 2009, I first heard about the Ontario “Provincial Benefit.”

The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) states: “The Provincial Benefit ensures reliability by providing adequate generating capacity for Ontario. It accounts for differences between the spot market price and the rates paid to regulated and contracted generators. As a result, its value may be positive or negative, depending on the fluctuation of prices in the spot market.

In other words, if Ontario pays more to your electricity supplier than the market price, you pay the difference, otherwise, you receive a credit.

Here are the average annual provincial benefits I calculated from 2005-2010 to date, in cents per kilowatt-hour, from the IESO’s monthly numbers:

2005    -0.6175
2006     0.229167
2007     0.438333
2008     0.530833
2009     2.9075
2010     2.97

It’s no accident that I didn’t hear about it until 2009. That’s the year the “benefit” exploded in cost to around half of the price of the first 1000 kWh of electricity. It’s been Orwellian since its inception, with the potential to be a charge, not a benefit, and has since been a charge every year since 2006.

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