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Bay of Quinte, Ontario, December 14, 2016: Today, the Belleville, Prince Edward County and Quinte West Chambers of Commerce in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) is calling on the provincial government to take bold steps to address the affordability challenge of energy pricing in the Quinte area. In its submission on the Long Term Energy Plan (LTEP), the organization is calling on government to ensure that future policies regarding energy pricing are affordable, transparent and flexible. One of the submission’s top recommendations includes a call for the adoption of a capacity market system.
Under the new Climate Change Action Plan, businesses are already facing additional costs. Since the 2013 LTEP, industrial rates in the province have increased by 16 percent, while the rate for households and small businesses have climbed by 25 percent. The OCC and its members have consistently reported that the price of electricity is undermining business’ capacity to grow, hire new workers, and ultimately remain competitive.
“Ontario is at a turning point in its planning process regarding the future energy needs of the province. In order for businesses in Quinte West to grow and succeed, it is imperative that future energy policies respect the concerns of businesses and support future economic growth,” said Suzanne Andrews, General Manager at the Quinte West Chamber of Commerce.
“In Prince Edward County, most small businesses feel that electricity prices are having the greatest impact on their ability to remain competitive and the escalating costs are crowding out investment opportunities,” said Emily Cowan, Executive Director of Prince Edward County Chamber of Tourism and Commerce. “Affordability is essential to create long-term prosperity in the region.”
Ontario’s energy system would benefit from the implementation of a capacity market. Under this structure there would be significant cost-savings for Ontario’s energy consumers through procuring shorter term supply on a cost efficient basis. For a capacity market to be successful in Ontario, the system would feature an auction style process where resources, such as generation facilities, imported resources, electricity storage and demand-side resources, are compensated for the potential energy they could produce.
“We are all acutely aware of the impact of electrical costs on Ontario business and with no short term solutions identified, this report contains recommendations for government to consider as they develop a long term energy plan,” said Bill Saunders, CEO Bellville Chamber. “Moving away from a central procurement model, integrating the Province’s Climate change goals and leveraging existing contracts all need to be front and center in this planning process.”
“As the provincial government seeks to find solutions to the province’s energy challenges, Ontario must strive to balance objectives regarding climate change, renewable resources and maintaining a diverse supply mix without forfeiting the competitiveness and transparency of the capacity market system,” said Allan O’Dette, President and CEO of the OCC. “This will result in increased accountability and confidence in the energy market for Ontario businesses.”
While the Ontario government is to be commended for some of the results it has achieved on the energy file (such as being a world leader in renewable energy resources) the status quo is presently unsustainable for ratepayers.
Read the Leading the Charge Report Here
Belleville & District Chamber of Commerce Media Contact:
Prince Edward County Chamber of Tourism & Commerce Media Contact:
Quinte West Chamber of Commerce Media Contact:
OCC Media Contact:
Senior Communications Advisor
Ontario Chamber of Commerce
T: 416.482.5222 ext. 2410