When Ontario ramps up it’s cap and trade program to curb pollution, business and residential power customers won’t really know what the impact will be on their utility bills.
The Ontario Energy Board is being accused of a lack of transparency by allowing for the individual cost of the cap and trade program to fall under the delivery line item on hydro and natural gas bills, instead of having its own separate listing.
Ontario will join Quebec and California’s market next January, mandating pollution limits on companies but allowing them to buy emission credits or sell them to others if they are under their quota.
London Chamber of Commerce CEO Gerry Macartney said they want a more transparent process.
“That line of sight that we need to have on our bills is really the encouragement we need to make cap and trade work,” he said. “If you bury it within the delivery charge, you won’t know whether it’s working and you will certainly not know what your charges are for cap and trade as we move forward.”
The Chamber does not understand why the charge doesn’t have it’s own line item.
“If you have nothing to hide, why are you hiding it?” Macartney questioned. “If you look at the other jurisdictions who already adopted cap and trade like Quebec and British Colombia, they’re showing it as a separate line item, so we’re puzzled why the Ontario Energy Board and I guess the government indirectly would support such a move.”
The London Chamber has written to the OEB asking it to reconsider its policy.
The Liberals expect their climate change plan will add about $5 a month to home heating bills and about 4.3 cents a litre to the price of gas.