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Renewable energy sources have little impact on Ontario electricity bills: study

Claims wind, solar and bioenergy combine to account for only nine per cent of average bill in Ontario



TORONTO—A new study looking to debunk the myth that renewable energy sources are leading to increased energy costs claims wind, solar and bioenergy combine to account for only nine per cent of the average bill in Ontario.

According to the study published by Environmental Defence, the trio of renewable energy sources combine for a total of $12 on the average monthly residential electrical bill in the province.

“As the new kid on the block, renewable energy is all too often blamed for rising electricity costs,” Environmental Defence spokesperson Gillian McEachern said in a statement about the study. “The truth is renewables play a fairly small role in Ontarians’ electricity bills today.”

By 2024, the study claims, wind, solar and bioenergy will add up to $25 on the average bill, or 16 per cent of the total.

That number is expected to drop to 12 per cent of the total average bill by 2032.

The study goes on to pinpoint an expiring rebate implemented by the Ontario government as the source of rising electricity costs.

Introduced in January 2011 in a bid to offset the impact the province’s harmonized sales tax (HST) would have on electricity bills, the five-year Ontario Clean Energy Benefit (OCEB) is set to expire in 2016.

The study also notes that, when compared to the rest of North American jurisdictions, Ontario ranks in the centre of the pack in terms of electricity rates.

Residential electricity costs in Toronto and Ottawa rank in the middle of major North American cities, the study found, and are cheaper than cities in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia.

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