Old Ontario Hydro Debt Likely To Grow Again


The $20.1 billion public debt that is the legacy of Ontario Hydro appears likely to grow again this year, while the agency responsible for the debt has missed its legal reporting deadline.

The Ontario Electricity Financial Corp. is required by law to submit its annual report by June 30, but Scott Brownrigg, an official in Finance Minister Janet Ecker's office, said this year's report still hasn't been filed.

It's expected to arrive soon, Brownrigg said yesterday, but probably won't be released publicly until late summer.

OEFC holds the $38 billion debt left by Ontario Hydro when it was broken up in 1998. Some of that debt is offset by assets, but as of last year $20.1 billion was "stranded" debt with no offsetting assets.

The province charges power users an extra 0.7 of a cent a kilowatt hour to raise money to pay down the stranded debt, and collects payments in lieu of taxes from electricity companies owned by the province and municipalities.

But OEFC's income hasn't kept up with the debt payments owed, so the stranded debt has risen from $19.4 billion when OEFC assumed it to last year's $20.1 billion.

It's likely to increase this year, as OEFC must finance any shortfalls that result from the provincial government's decision to freeze the price of power at 4.3 cents a kilowatt hour for householders and small businesses.

However, generating companies are guaranteed the full market price, which has averaged more than 6 cents. OEFC must finance the difference between what consumers pay and what generators receive.

To the end of March 31, which marks the end of OEFC's fiscal year, the gap stood at $480 million, which must be added to the stranded debt.

In addition, OEFC may have to finance purchases of expensive imported power. Consumers already pay a charge through their regular rates to cover emergency imports. But that may not be enough to cover the full cost of imports, which can be very expensive when purchased at short notice.

No figures are available on whether there's a deficit to be financed this year.

It also appears that OEFC's income may drop this year.

Income from the province's two big electricity companies, Ontario Power Generation and Hydro One, is used to pay down the stranded debt. But both companies saw their profits drop in 2002.

Tom Adams, executive director of Energy Probe, said the result is a "gigantic public debt" created by government electricity policy.

Adams said OEFC should be held to its reporting deadlines so the public has a clear picture of the debt.

"I think it's outrageous when you've got crown corporations behaving like scofflaws," he said.

The Toronto Star

Electricity News
Product Info Centres
Electrical Transformers
Electrical Test Equipment
Electrical Safety/Arc Flash
Electrical Safety Forum
Arc Flash Clothing
Renewable Energy
Alternative Energy
Other Options

Subscription

 
Training Courses

Power Transformer Testing and Maintenance

  • December 12-13, 2016 - Richmond, BC

Integrated Building Electrical Systems

  • January 12-13, 2017 - Mississauga, ON
  • January 16-17, 2017 - Winnipeg, MB
  • January 18-19, 2017 - Saskatoon, SK
  • January 23-24, 2017 - Richmond, BC
  • January 25-26, 2017 - Edmonton, AB

1-Day Low Voltage Arc Flash/Electrical Safety Training

  • January 16, 2017 - Richmond, BC
  • January 18, 2017 - Edmonton, AB
  • January 23, 2017 - Mississauga, ON

2-Day Low Voltage and MV/HV Electrical Safety

  • January 16-17, 2017 - Richmond, BC
  • January 18-19, 2017 - Edmonton, AB
  • January 23-24, 2017 - Mississauga, ON

1-Day MV/HV Electrical Safety Training

  • January 17, 2017 - Richmond, BC
  • January 19, 2017 - Edmonton, AB
  • January 24, 2017 - Mississauga, ON

2015 Electrical Code Update Training

  • January 30-31, 2017 - Mississauga, ON
  • February 1-2, 2017 - Edmonton, AB

UPS and Battery Systems Training

  • February 2-3, 2017 - Richmond, BC
  • February 6-7, 2017 - Edmonton, AB
  • February 8-9, 2017 - Mississauga, ON
  • February 13-14, 2017 - Winnipeg, MB

Modern Electrical Substation Design, Protection, Maintenance

  • February 14-15, 2017 - Richmond, BC
  • February 16-17, 2017 - Edmonton, AB
  • February 22-23, 2017 - Mississauga, ON

Industrial Power System Engineering Week

  • February 20-24, 2017 - Richmond, BC
  • March 6-10, 2017 - Mississauga, ON
  • May 15-19, 2017 - Calgary, AB

Electric Motor Design, Protection and Maintenance

  • February 28-March 1, 2017 - Richmond, BC
  • March 2-3, 2017 - Edmonton, AB
  • March 6-7, 2017 - Saskatoon, SK
  • March 8-9, 2017 - Winnipeg, MB
  • March 13-14, 2017 - St. Johns, NL
  • March 16-17, 2017 - Mississauga, ON

Electrical Relay Protection and Control

  • April 4-5, 2017 - Richmond, BC
  • April 6-7, 2017 - Edmonton, AB
  • April 10-11, 2017 - Winnipeg, MB
  • April 12-13, 2017 - Mississauga, ON

2-Day Electrical Grounding for Industrial Applications

  • April 17-18, 2017 - Edmonton, AB
  • April 24-25, 2017 - Richmond, BC
  • April 27-28, 2017 - Winnipeg, MB
  • May 1-2, 2017 - Mississauga, ON

5-Day Edmonton Grounding Week

  • April 17-21, 2017 - Edmonton, AB

1-Day HV Utility-Industrial Electrical Grounding

  • April 19, 2017 - Edmonton, AB
  • April 26, 2017 - Richmond, BC
  • May 3, 2017 - Mississauga, ON

Electrical Grounding for Oil-Gas Applications

  • April 20-21, 2017 - Edmonton, AB

MV-HV Industrial Electrical Maintenance/Safety Practices

  • May 1-2, 2017 - Richmond, BC
  • May 4-5, 2017 - Edmonton, AB
  • May 9-10, 2017 - Winnipeg, MB
  • May 11-12, 2017 - Mississauga, ON
  • May 15-16, 2017 - St. Johns, NL

5-Day Toronto Grounding Week

  • May 1-5, 2017 - Mississauga, ON

2-Day Electrical Grounding For Telecommunication Networks

  • May 4-5, 2017 - Mississauga, ON
 
Affiliates
 
Featured Product

Condenser Tube Plugs

Conklin-Sherman Co., Inc.
Adjustable and Push Pull Type Plugs.
... more
 
Advertisement
 
Latest Buyer's Guide Companies
Sign Up Today and Receive Our FREE E- Newsletter

E-newsletter service - Exciting industry trends, technical developments, product information, forums and electrical training courses.