The IESO’s perverted perception of public value

The IESO is the organization now tasked with operating Ontario’s electricity schemes.

The lawyer tasked with heading the key engineering infrastructure had the audacity to say this in a recent speech to an industry organization:

You may have heard me speak about the concept of public value in other venues, it is a concept that resonates with me and one that resonates with our employees … it guides what and why we do what we do.

In the former IESO organization, our public value centred around our system and market responsibilities, managing those responsibilities to promote both reliability and efficiency that our customers could count on…

let me give a project example – but a project that I also believe meets my public value objective.

As you will know, we currently operate the smart meter data repository in our role as the Smart Meter Entity for the province of Ontario.


He’s bringing up smart meters and the MDM/R as example of what “resonates with” him.

The IESO’s response to the Auditor General of Ontario’s reporting is to ignore it.

The MDM/R being provided as the example of “public value” that “resonates with” the IESO chief is an insult to Ontarians outside of the room where the IESO’s Prez spoke.

I’d presume it was included in the speech to assist his benefactors in government in discrediting the Auditor’s report.

The government isn’t the only body with allies. Here, from Tom Adams Energy, is substantive material for the Auditor to look into in her next annual report:

November 23, 2010: In an email exchange Ben Chin, Ontario Power Authority VP, former Ontario Liberal candidate, and also former senior media advisor to then Premier Dalton McGuinty discusses with senior communications staffer, Alicia Johnston, employed in the Ontario Minister of Energy’s office. Johnston complains about negative reporting by Tom Adams and proposes that “We’ve got to get him (Tyler Hamilton) out as an ‘expert’ commentator.” Chin replies, “We need to throw him (Tyler Hamilton) some work.”

…May 3, 2011: The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), closely supervised by the Ontario government, released a report on “Smart Grid” development in the province. … the report thanks Tyler Hamilton for his assistance in preparing this report. [see also here]

Wonder how the head of the IESO’s legal, at the time of that contracting, would explain the coincidence?

Probably as an example of public value that resonates with him.

I’ve written seriously on the smart meter debacle for years. If you suffered through reading the speech of the IESO’s Campbell anyway, maybe take some more minutes to read 2012’s Whose Meter Is It: Dopey Ontario and Smart Meters.

Maybe not.

This stretch of Campbell’s speech demonstrates how one achieves a podium position in Ontario’s bureaucratic Olympics:

…the data set in MDMR also offers significant potential value for designing conservation and demand response programs, system planning, policy development, academic research and to support innovation in Ontario.

Emphasis added – to show the clerical ecosystem feeding off these costly experiments.

When the IESO was an acronym, the O was for Operator. Now the IESO is just the latest example of Parkinson’s law:

Factor I.—An official wants to multiply subordinates, not rivals; and

Factor II.—Officials make work for each other.

Data and data discipline are tools – for people to utilize. As much as “play the ball and not the player” is a noble thought, the players now playing have a lousy track record serving the ratepayer population of the province.

Because of many of Ontario’s electricity sector initiative I now once again have a not-so-smart meter on my house; one that measures the natural gas energy that has displaced a large portion of the electrical energy I’d otherwise use. Allegedly smart meters are only one cost that returned me to the far better value of an energy supply metered with dumb meters; other costs include the IESO that has run down the concept of a market to a pathetic tool functioning solely to serve the IESO as a dispatch tool to push out, increasingly needlessly, electricity generated by their “stakeholders”

The meter/grid initiative code-named “smart” has been a $2 billion expense estimated to have lost $600 million. That “resonates with” IESO CEO Bruce Campbell.

That ain’t a $2 billion public value resonating.

That’s a $2 billion vibrator.


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