The full interviews with bonus material:
The electricity bill. Yeah, the one that arrives regularly. Most of us pay it. For some, it is not always easy to understand all those line items and what they mean. It can be a challenge to pay for others, like seniors on fixed incomes or people on low incomes.
This show is about that electricity bill. You see, Lakefront Utility, the people who bring electricity to your home or business, just spent the last year applying for an increase in rates. That’s right. They want to put up the rates for homeowners about seven or eight percent. The good news is that didn’t happen.
Lakefront also wanted to do a lot of other things related to electricity rates. But we will get to that in the interviews.
It is rather a complicated process to raise rates. Lakefront Utilities can’t just hike rates anytime they want by any amount. Every five years, they go before a body called the Ontario Energy Board. It reviews Lakefront’s proposal. So, Lakefront prepares a five-year plan and justifies its rates to all 10,000 of its customers in Cobourg and Colborne.
The energy board holds hearings. People and lobby groups can come and argue over Lakefront’s proposals.
One of the reasons Lakefront didn’t get the hike is due to a group of citizens. A team from the Cobourg Taxpayers Association went to the hearings. So did Northumberland Hills Hospital.
If you think your electricity bill is complicated, try to understand Lakefront Utilities’s proposal submitted to the Ontario Energy Board. The technical terminology, plus all the acronyms, is enough to drive any mere mortal crazy.
Yet, three members of the Cobourg Taxpayers Association took on the task. And, this is not the first time. Here is the story of Dennis Nabieszko, Ken Strauss, and Bryan Lambert. They will tell us what it is like to go into a room full of experts and come out the other end successfully holding down the proposed rate hike on your electrical bill.
You are going to hear about what happened.
First, you will hear from Adam Giddings. He represents Lakefront Utilities. He will explain the proposal and the impact of the final decision by the Ontario Energy Board. Then, you are going to hear from the team from the Cobourg Taxpayers Association. They will tell you how they took on Lakefront.
Not only will you hear the story behind the fight over the rate hike. You will hear some pretty interesting stuff that may help you better understand that electricity bill and why you pay what you do.
Bits of this get pretty technical. But if you are patient, you will hear all the players explain this in terms you can understand.
So hang on. Let’s make sense of that electricity bill.
Originally aired: Nov. 12, 2021
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