TORONTO – People in Ontario are paying billions of dollars extra for electricity thanks to a flawed smart meter program and the above-market rates the province pays most power generators, Ontario’s auditor general reported.
by Allison Jones, The Canadian Press | see original article
WATCH: Ontario’s auditor general found so-called smart meters that many people have installed on their homes, have cost customers far more than they should have —billions of dollars more. Eric Sorensen looks into the numbers.

TORONTO – People in Ontario are paying billions of dollars extra for electricity thanks to a flawed smart meter program and the above-market rates the province pays most power generators, Ontario’s auditor general reported Tuesday.

Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli disputed the auditor’s conclusions, suggesting her numbers were inaccurate because she didn’t understand the “complex” electricity system.

“The electricity system is very complex, it’s very difficult to understand,” he said. “I can tell you that some of our senior managers in discussing some of these issues with some of the representatives from the auditor general’s office got the feeling that they didn’t understand some of the elements of it.”

Ratepayers will pay $50 billion between 2006 and 2015 because of an extra charge on their electricity bills that covers the gap between guaranteed prices paid to contracted power generators and the market price, auditor general Bonnie Lysyk wrote in her annual report.

WATCH: Ontario energy minister says the Auditor General’s staff doesn’t understand complex energy system

The report also highlighted a “high-risk” loan to a MaRS real estate project in Toronto that left Lysyk uncertain about its benefit to taxpayers, as well as public-private infrastructure projects that are costing billions more than if they were delivered by the public sector.

READ MORE: Highlights from the Auditor General’s report

Lysyk also flagged Ontario’s growing debt as a concern. The net debt was more than $267 billion as of March and even if the Liberal government meets its goal of eliminating the deficit in 2017-18, net debt will have risen to $325 billion, Lysyk projected.

In her analysis of the smart meter program, Lysyk found the extra electricity charge, known as global adjustment, has increased by 1,200 per cent between 2006 and 2013 – meanwhile, the average electricity market price has dropped by 46 per cent.

Most residential and small business ratepayers pay time-of-use pricing, enabled by a $2-billion smart-meter program that has so far spent double its projected cost and has not led to the government’s electricity conservation goals being met, Lysyk wrote.

The global adjustment makes up about 70 per cent of the electricity charge on those customers’ bills and as a result the difference between on-peak and off-peak pricing narrowed to the point where it is “undermining time-of-use pricing as an incentive for ratepayers to shift to off-peak,” Lysyk wrote.

Peak electricity demand actually rose slightly between 2004 and 2010, the auditor general wrote.

BLOG from Alan Carter: Why Ontario residents are paying so much for electricity

WATCH: The Auditor General of Ontario found that private-public partnerships for infrastructure projects cost taxpayers $8 billion more than projected.

The energy minister hit back hard, saying the global adjustment is “irrelevant” because it would be on people’s bills with or without smart meters, and he said Lysyk got the numbers wrong.

“Why are my numbers more credible than hers?” Chiarelli said, in response to questions after the report’s release. “First of all the electricity system is very complex. It’s very difficult to understand.”

He pegged the smart meter cost at closer to $1.4 billion, and said Lysyk’s conclusions are premature.

“It remains likely that some significant charges will not be passed onto ratepayers after the Ontario Energy Board has an opportunity to review the appropriate regulatory submissions,” Chiarelli said.

The government decided to mandate smart meters in Ontario before it did a cost-benefit analysis and when the analysis ultimately was done, it was flawed and its projected net benefit of $600 million was overstated by at least $512 million, Lysyk wrote.

“As a result, electricity ratepayers in Ontario are paying significantly more for this initiative in their monthly electricity bills than was originally intended,” she wrote.


The leaders of both opposition parties called Chiarelli’s reaction to the report “unprecedented” arrogance.

“Billions and billions of dollars piled up and what do they do? Turn around and say the auditor isn’t accurate. Yes, Mr. Chiarelli should resign,” said Interim Progressive Conservative Leader Jim Wilson.

“You’ve been ripping off consumers and someone’s head has to fall for it.”

WATCH: Global’s Christina Stevens reports on how smart meters affect the average family.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath called the auditor’s report “troubling” and said the government should take it seriously.

“While we’re entitled to our own opinions, the Liberals aren’t entitled to their own facts and trying to trash the auditor simply doesn’t change that.”

We found the following blog post to be insightful: “So in less than five years [since ‘smart’ meter install], the price had risen by 81%. We’re doing our best to be responsible power consumers: we consumed less power than before and 71% of the billed electricity was in “off-peak” hours.”


Rollout of $1.9-billion Smart Metering Initiative Had Serious Shortcomings—Benefits Not Yet Realized, Ontario Auditor General Says (Press Release):

Ontarians paying $50 billion too much for electricity: Auditor (CHCHING!):

Smart meters a costly flop says Auditor General (Hamilton Spectator):

Smart meters have few benefits for big costs: AG report – Ontario auditor-general slams catch-all ‘global adjustment’ fee (The Star):

Smart Meters continue to be stupid 10 by Christina Blizzard (Toronto Sun):

Auditor says smart meters cost nearly twice as much as planned Alan Carter (Global News):

  • All politicians and Hudro must be tried as Nazi criminals for this corruption ! Start a revolution, take them down !

    • I agree Rebecca,
      These so called Smart Meters aren’t Smart in any way. They are all Pirating devices to thieve more and more money from people and are also Incendiary Meters. I say bring back Madame La Guillotine and chop off these EVIL SODS Heads such as the C.E.O’s of these wicked Electricity companies who are nothing but a pack of Stand-Over Merchants of DEATH.

  • All these utility companies are mafia owned syndicates. Extortion is extortion. Corporations and “governments” were created to exact whatever form of extortion they can list on their ledger sheet as “legal” and “profitable”. Corporatism results in fascism every time. That’s why the Roman Church “resurrected” the corporate system after the Roman Empire had rejected corporate financial manipulations hundreds of years earlier. Corporate sanctioned seizures of land and citizen rights is a perverse and diabolical invention of the Roman Church.
    Corporations employ crowd control entities called media. Six corporations own and control 80% of the media IN THE WORLD. It’s also nice to have an endless supply of willing dupes to pay into those “investment” portfolios…
    If Canadian citizens were serious about reducing utilities costs and regaining control over their government bureaucrats, they’d make all corporate legal structures illegal and ban such companies from doing business on Canadian soil. All corporate owned properties and publicly held funds should be confiscated and returned to local Canadian municipalities and private citizens. Get rid of these parasites before they find another way to kill you off…

    “If is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it”
    – Upton Sinclair –

    • Terrific piece here pal,
      You are spot on in all you say. I am Richard, or Hammer Mann in Victoria Australia.
      I say bring back Madam La Guillotine as was invented in France circa 1789 when the people rose up and smote off the Wicked Heads of their Oppressors. It’s time again for you in Canada to bring back Madam La Guillotine or the “Chopping Block and the Beheading Axe” as we had in England where I was born. These wicked Thieves are Screwing the Canadian People. The same is going on here in Victoria Australia with five wicked foreign owned Electric Power companies.
      Some two hundred and fifty thousand of us, (250,000), me included have padlocked our Electricity meter boxes so they the oppressors cannot STEAL our safe and passive Analog Electric Meters. I sent Powercor our local foreign owned Electricity Company a ‘Notice of Fine’ for ten million dollars $10,000,000 to stop them bothering me and it worked. These CRIMINALS only had 14 days in which to answer me by letter or they were stuck with my Affidavit and my Commercial Offer. I also added that I’d drag them through the Courts and use Brodie’s Law, that is the very successful Anti-Bullying Law that would put them in Gaol for up to ten (10) years with no remission for good behaviour when my Lawyer proved that they of Powercor had been continually bullying me, ” See my letters from Powercor bullying me to take a dopy and all life Health Wrecking and far from Smart Meter and also proving to be and Incendiary Meter that has and still continues to burn down many houses. My demands on Powercor are also backed up by the A.C.C.C Lawyers Letters from Canberra our head of Government in Australia.

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