Cobourg Council Not Optimistic For Big Hydro Savings Under Ford

In City Hall

Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
Even though Doug Ford has won the premiership of Ontario with (among other promises) a pledge to reduce hydro costs by 12%, Cobourg councillors expressed a lack of optimism that this will help with the new Venture 13 roof-top solar-panel project.
Council approved the project at last week’s committee-of-the-whole meeting, but Ford was elected in the interim.
Deputy Mayor John Henderson remained confident in the 25-year project for Venture 13, and predicted that the province must become more involved in green-energy projects.
Mayor Gil Brocanier shared his conversations with an official from Bruce Hydro, who told him hydro costs will not go down and, to the contrary, must keep going up and up. Brocanier said his own calculations bear that out for this particular project, even if Ford succeeds with his 12% decrease.
One reason they must decrease reliance on Ontario Hydro is its $9.3-billion debt and the interest incurred each month.
“We are at such a transition time right now, and I appreciate the numbers,” Councillor Suzanne Seguin said.
“I really had a hard time supporting this without knowing what the province’s plans are going to be. We have heard a lot of promises, as we always do in elections, and they may or may not be kept – they probably won’t,” Seguin predicted.
Brocanier said the town purchases its electricity from Lakefront Utilities Inc., and they’re able to keep costs to customers down because of their distribution and delivery system. Of perhaps 67 utility companies in the province, he said, Lakefront ranks among the five least expensive.
Ontario Hydro, on the other hand, is the most expensive, and their distribution and delivery system has not been kept up.
“Talk to anyone who lives in the rural community about the number of times they have power outages,” he said.
“That will go up even more. I don’t know that anyone there can come up with a solution to reduce costs in the next 20 years.”
“Our company is doing a great job,” Deputy Mayor John Henderson stated.
Councillor Debra McCarthy said they should not lose sight of the fact that the rooftop installation will offset one-third of the facility’s electricity costs and earn carbon credits.

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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