Tom Adams’ Open Letter to Dr. Dianne Saxe, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario


Tom Adams has a very good post following a discussion on Zoomer radio with the current Environmental Commissioner of Ontario.

Dr. Dianne Saxe Environmental Commissioner…

On Wednesday last week, you and I were guests on the radio show “Fight Back with Libby Znaimer” on the AM radio station CFZM Toronto. A podcast of that interview is available here. You made the following six major points:

  1. Climate change means that Ontario has much higher temperatures and longer heat waves. Ontario’s infrastructure was built for the climate that we used to have but unfortunately that is over and won’t come back…If we look at the data, there is a very significant difference that we’re seeing in the last couple of decades from the average temperature of the 20th century, which is what most of our infrastructure was built to.
  2. If you look at what is driving Ontario rates up, conservation contributed only 4% of Global Adjustment in 2015.
  3. Residential rates in Ontario are average for North America.
  4. Ontario’s eliminating coal-fired power is one of the big reasons why last year, for the first year since records began, that we didn’t have any smog days.
  5. When the Ontario Liberals formed government after the Conservatives, Ontario’s whole power system was running at the very edge of its capacity with shreds and patches.
  6. Ontario’s publicly-backed electricity debt is being paid down.

Read the rebuttals to these points at Open Letter to Dr. Dianne Saxe, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario — Tom Adams Energy – ideas for a smarter grid


I’ll make some quick points – which support Tom Adams’ arguments.

  1. The Global Adjustment was almost $10 billion in 2014 – so just 4% is just $400 million. Just that – each year. I recently graphed the IESO’s claimed annual conservation totals with the IESO’s reported annual exports. It’s clear if the export sales are under the 3.7 cents/kWh Adams cites the IESO claiming, conservation has been a make-work project to expand the IESO bureaucracy.
  2. I suggest the debt discussion would be simpler using the term “liabilities” – instead of carrying debt with the attached interest obligations, the provincial ratepayers are saddled with much more pricey long-term obligations in the form of power purchase agreements (PPAs). For perspective: I estimate wind and solar contracts cost Ontario ratepayers about $3.25 billion over the past 12 months – with the government receiving interest rates below 4%, the liabilities of those 20-year contracts have a value equal to a $42.5 billion mortgage (paid over 20 years). Ignoring currency inflation, this would mean all Ontario Hydro’s assets (generators, transmission and distribution) in 1998 were attained while incurring less liability than today’s wind and solar contracts brought.

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