It is a favourite argument with environmentalists. They agree that the Ontario Government’s Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program for ‘Green’ electricity smells like, tastes like and probably is a form of Ponzi scheme but that is alright because it supports wind power, sun power, thermal and biomass energy generation in our province. It does not seem to bother them that the program is rapidly escalating the cost of electricity in Ontario and it is the consumer who is paying the real costs of the scheme.
And never mind that McGuinty’s people had a fit of conscience last year (in time for the election) and gave consumers a stay of execution for part of the rising costs. We will still pay in the long run—and the government has been collecting Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) on energy bills to cover the shortfall.
While we can all delight in the justice of Provincial NDP Leader Andrea Horvath calling for a two-per cent surtax on the money people earn over $500,000 per year, it sounds like a mathematical stretch to say this is enough to cover the HST on energy. If it is, we have a much greater disparity in incomes in this province than we realized.
But bringing some commonsense to the FIT program is the topic. When first hearing of the program a few years ago, we studied the possibilities of taking advantage of the program for our condominium community. We have the winds and the sun and the space for a wind turbine or for solar panels. We could do either or both and since we were already paying over $500,000 a year for energy for two towers, we hoped to both lower our energy costs and also feel good about the environment.
When we priced out the various options available to us to capture wind and solar energy, we realized that the suppliers were the only ones to get any money out of the deal. All they offered us was the feel-good part.
But when we looked at the obstacles in our path, we opted not to spend the rest of our lives chasing a Ponzi scheme. It is when you see widely acclaimed plans, supported by Babel council, for wind and biomass generation languishing for years awaiting approvals, it’s obvious how the province is controlling its scheme.
Copyright 2012 © Peter Lowry
Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to [email protected]