Every time Minster Energy Bentley opens his mouth, it costs Ontarians more hard earned $$$……..

Posted: November 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

Every time there is an “announcement” from this “gaggle of gerbils” who aren’t even sitting in Parliament, HOLD ONTO YOUR WALLETS folks!

The latest “pipe dream”, The Green Button application coming to a website soon, or not, was the latest zinger from Bentley’s lips which was announced at the Governments’s Green Bat Cave, The MaRs Centre.

Now there’s a place to behold! just like all the “moving forward”  announcements and other “fluffy green pie in the sky dreamland ideas” this Government has cooked up at our expense, here is another example Green Dollars propping up a fake Green Industry!

Now we are supposed to be “guided” on how to conserve energy!

Note to Bentley: “you have screwed our energy sector so badly and raised our electricity prices so high that we can’t even afford to use it any more”!

How’s that for “conservation”?

Now go back into what ever green hole you came out of to announce this stupidity and practise this: SILENCE!!!!

Green Buttons: Cutting Edge Technology or Greening MaRS Discovery District

The Minister of Energy, Chris Bentley chose a friendly venue to launch his cutting edge “green button” campaign-well not a campaign more of a “we have an app for that” chat; although they don’t really have the “app” yet! What Minister Bentley was announcing was that the MaRS Discovery District would work with some of the local distribution companies (LDCs) to develop an application that will allow you to turn your air conditioner up or down from your smart phone.Smart phones are not be be confused with “smart meters” whose capabilities in Ontario appear to be limited to being able to bill you on a time-of-use (TOU) basis and not much more. Personal experience in trying to report a power outage in our neighbourhood confirmed an admittance from the emergency call in number that my LDC didn’t have the capability to detect outages.The press release from Minister Bentley announced we have 4.7 million smart meters installed on all Ontario households. Those smart meters cost Ontarians a lot of money. In the case of  Hydro One the estimate was $700.54 for each of their meters but in the case of other LDCs the price was much less (as low as $200 each). The full cost of the installations and the software to allow the LDCs to bill us for TOU may never be known but its probably north of $2 billion with Hydro One representing over $800a million of that cost alone. In the case of Hydro One they have recently asked the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to grant them an indefinite extension for conversion of 150,000 of their smart meters as they reputedly can’t get them to report on a TOU basis. If Hydro One can’t even read the units remotely it is difficult to see how an “app” will work for those households.

Minister Bentley said some interesting things in his video appearance including; its “time we gave the consumer of energy and electricity more choice” and went on to say; “most people will choose to save energy and save money.” He spoke as if he is convinced that the green button app will allow us to do that and by doing so we will conserve energy and save ratepayers money. He made those statements as if he truly believed them! Perhaps he is unaware that if the Ontario ratepayer actually conserved energy their local LDC would simply apply for a rate increase to cover off the lost revenue (from our lower consumption) and the OEB would bless their application to increase the rates.

Ontario isn’t the first jurisdiction to launch the “green button” as Minister Bentley pointed out. In the US Pacific Gas & Electric launched their green button 10 months ago with 2.2 million of their customers. In that 10 months their green button app has been used just 100,000 times. If those 2.2 million customers had downloaded the app just once per day the number would have been 66 million rather then the small amount they experienced. Why does our Energy Minister think Ontario will be different? PG & E have 9.4 million smart meters installed and their customers are in California one of only a couple of US states currently with higher electricity prices than Ontario.

Now the fact that MaRS Discovery District has been allocated the responsibility to develop this app may have something to do with the way this charity has been treated by the Liberal government. Since 2005 MaRS has received in excess of $170 million of the Province’s tax dollars and in the most recent year ended March 31, 2012 they received over $27 million from the Provincial coffers. MaRS are also in the process of expanding their real estate presence. A visit to Queens Park will disclose that looking south on University Ave. will bring your eyes to a 20 story office tower being erected. This building will be owned by MaRS and is being financed by Infrastructure Ontario (another McGuinty creation where his current Chief of Staff, David Livingston held the position of CEO) with a $230 million dollar loan. Now MaRS will need to come up with the balance of the costs ($110 million) but based on their financial statement they are about $80 million short. One has to wonder if the deal worked out with the Ministry of Energy will see them get paid that kind of money for development of the app.

Another issue that strikes one as odd is that the LDCs are currently offering any number of devices to help you conserve and they are “free” or at least the promotional material says they are. Hydro One are offering “free”programable thermostats and Toronto Hydro “free” Energy Display units each supposedly valued at $250 each. Those units are also intended to conserve energy so why the sudden rush to create this “cutting edge” technology that doesn’t seem to be working in California.

The green button app could have been developed by a private company without any cost to the taxpayer/ratepayer but that doesn’t appear to have been considered by the Minister. One wonders why?Perhaps this “cutting edge” announcement is meant to take the heat off of the Energy Minister who has been castigated for the gas plant moves from Oakville and Mississauga and faced the contempt of Parliament Motion that, most believe, caused the McGuinty government to prorogue Parliament.Parker Gallant
November 21, 2012

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