Electricity Hike Unconscionable, MPP

Hydro transformer station (BlackburnNews.com photo by Melanie Irwin)

Sarnia-Lambton’s MPP says people can’t afford to pay any more.

Bob Bailey reacting to Thursday’s announcement by Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli that the average Ontario household will pay an additional 137 dollars for electricity next year because of changes to government programs.

Chiarelli says rates are up dramatically because of the cost of eliminating coal fired electricity, but promises the average increase will be down to about 2.2 per cent in a few years.

Starting January 1st, Ontario will end the 10 per cent rebate on all hydro bills, which averaged 17 dollars a month, and scrap the debt retirement charge of about $5.60 a month.

The provincial government announced today that low-income households will be eligible for rebates on electricity bills starting next year. Chiarelli says there will be a sliding scale for hydro rebates of $20 to $ 50 a month, depending on income and family size.

~ With files from The Canadian Press ~