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Posts Tagged ‘Provincial Benefit’

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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