time-of-use, era-of-sadism: it’s words some in Ontario should conserve

Ontario’s environment commissioner is out with a report on conservation today, and from the press tweets I’ve seen thus far it’s going to cause a brief bonanza of idiocy.

Some realities Ontario reporters should know if they’ve written on the topic for more than a month – particularly if they’re going to write on time-of-use electricity rates.

Canada’s latest National Inventory report submission to the UNFCC showed Ontario with 167,000kt CO2e for 2012 (167 Mt), down 10,000 from 1990. Emissions due to electricity were down more than the total over that time, from 25,500 to 14,500 kt CO2e.


The emissions from electricity (and Heat) generation in Ontario in 2014 were less than half of 2012’s low level: I’d estimate 6,000 kt, although an Ontario Energy Report produced for 2014’s third quarter shows it may be slightly higher.

Let’s say 6 out of 160 units emitted come from electricity generation.

Time-of-use rates are applied to many customers subjected to Regulated Rate Plans (RPP) by the Ontario Energy Board. While Ontario consumes about 140 terawatt-hours (TWh) a year, the most recent “Calculating the RPP Supply Cost” document states, “Based on historical data on RPP consumption … it is forecast that RPP consumption will represent about 60 TWh…”

60/140 is 43%, 43% of 6 is about 2.6, and 2.6 of 160 is 1.625%. That’s the estimated share of Ontario’s emissions attributable to Ontario’s regulated price plan consumers.

When some almost assuredly white urban Ontario jackass is talking about time-of-use rates as even remotely relevant to greenhouse gas emissions, realize they are talking about what even the most ardent supporters of time-of-use rates claim might be a 3% impact on a 1.625% contribution to Ontario’s greenhouse gas emissions.

People that want grandmothers to change their usage patterns for that are twits.


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