Hydro Moving Towards Texas-Style Surge Pricing That Will Increase Rates for Families
Manitoba Hydro is planning to increase rates for families and make it harder for Manitobans to pay their bills in the winter months when they need more heat to stay warm. Power point slides from an internal, previously undisclosed presentation on Hydro’s 20-year strategic plan, obtained by the Manitoba NDP, show Hydro is looking at abandoning their flat rate service for a time-of-use fee structure that will raise rates at peak times when families are at home and consume more energy.
“We can’t let what happened in Texas happen here with our electricity bills,” said Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew. “In Manitoba, where winter storms are no surprise, surge pricing simply makes no sense. Typically, the Public Utilities Board would protect us from something like this but the PCs are removing the PUB’s ability to protect ratepayers with their Bill 35.”
Manitoba Hydro paid the private consulting firm Deloitte nearly $500,000 to produce this 20- year strategic plan. The “pricing signals (time-of-use)” fee cited in the power point slide is the same fee structure used in Ontario where hydro rates are significantly higher than Manitoba. These increased rates would have a disproportionate impact on middle-class and low-income families whose monthly bills take up a higher percentage of their income.
“Manitobans want clean, reliable, affordable electricity to heat their homes,” said Adrien Sala, Manitoba NDP Critic for Hydro. “But the PC government is set on moving toward privatizing Hydro and raising rates for families. This government should be working hard to protect Manitobans’ share in our valuable Crown Corporation and unlocking our potential to be a leader in affordability and clean energy.”
Relevant document can be viewed here: https://bit.ly/3uqKKjb