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Hydro rates in Toronto the highest in Canada: Fraser Institute

Last Updated Jul 20, 2017 at 7:00 am EDT

A new report from the Fraser Institute reveals Toronto has the highest hydro rates across Canada, and that electricity prices in Ontario have increased twice as fast as the national average over the past decade.

According to the report, which was released on Thursday, the average Toronto residential hydro bill is $60 more per month than the national average.

Residents in Toronto pay on average $201 per month (including taxes) for hydro – that’s an increase of $77.09 over the past six years. In comparison, Ottawa residents pay $183 per month.

“You compare that to Montreal, which is only $83 a month, in Calgary it is $109 a month,” Kenneth Green with Fraser Institute told 680 NEWS.

The report also found that between 2008 and 2015, hydro prices in the province have increased 2.5 times faster than income levels.

“Electricity prices rose a staggering 71 per cent (from 2008 to 2016), more than double the national average increase of 34 per cent over the same time,” the report states.

The study attributes the high electricity rates in Ontario to the provincial government’s phasing out of coal energy and poorly structured long-term renewable energy generation contracts.

“It is the result of government projects and government planning, rather than fundamentals of inflation or economic growth or fuel availability. It’s really the choices made by governments in Ontario,” Green said.

Earlier this year, the governing Liberals introduced lower current electricity prices, which went into effect on July 1. Under the government’s plan, Ontarians will see lowered hydro bills for the next 10 years, but will then pay higher costs for the following 20 years.

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