Speaking to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath committed to taking immediate steps to lower hydro bills across Ontario. Horwath said upon taking office, an NDP government would take the HST off of hydro bills, immediately lowering bills by 8%, and committed to reducing underlying costs within the first six months.
“Ontarians are paying too much for hydro. I’m committing today that an NDP government will cut the cost of hydro for families, and businesses,” said Horwath. “First, we will lower hydro bills by immediately taking the HST off hydro. An NDP Government will conduct an immediate review, and report back within 6 months with additional steps to reduce hydro bills. This is about helping families, supporting businesses and strengthening our economy.”
Horwath noted that since Kathleen Wynne became Premier, peak electricity rates have increased by 50%, and data from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce shows that high energy costs are expected to force one in twenty businesses to close in the next five years.
“My commitment to you today is that New Democrats will put the people of this province in the driver’s seat – and make decisions that don’t work for the government’s friends, but actually work for all of us. We will put what’s right for families and businesses at the heart of our electricity system,” continued Horwath. “This summer’s heatwave means more and more Ontarians are being forced to choose between hydro bills they can’t afford or homes that are so hot they can barely stand to be in them.”
Key parts of the NDP’s future plans will include ensuring the Ontario Energy Board has the tools and mandate to protect consumers, and addressing privatization. Horwath noted that the newly privatized Hydro One announced on Friday that earnings had increased, but this windfall will benefit shareholders instead of being invested into lowering hydro bills.