Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Wynne government's energy conservation program is wasting billions of public dollars: Study

Kathleen channels the iconic Trudeau shrug
TORONTO - The Ontario government's energy conservation program is a multibillion-dollar boondoggle that wastes public money and doesn't lower the cost of electricity, according to a new report by the Fraser Institute.

Authors Tom Adams, an independent energy and environmental consultant, and Ross McKitrick, an economics professor at Guelph University, contend in "Demand Side Mismanagement: How Conservation Became Waste," that Premier Kathleen Wynne's government is making outlandish claims about how much money it has saved through energy conservation that have no basis in reality.

In November 2012, Adams correctly predicted the public cost of then premier Dalton McGuinty's cancellation of two gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga would exceed $1 billion.

His estimate, based on government documents available at the time, was $1.3 billion.

McGuinty's response was: "Of course I fully reject that calculation. We're very confident that the costs are in total $230 million."

A year later, the Ontario auditor general put the cost at up to $1.1 billion.

In this new report released Tuesday, Adams and McKitrick say the Liberals are equally in the dark about their conservation program. "Queen's Park is betting heavily that conservation programs will provide an effective and low-cost means of managing power needs in the coming decades," they write. "Unfortunately, Ontario energy plans rely on unsubstantiated and overly-optimistic claims. We closely examine(d) the analyses behind the province's 'Conservation First' plans, and find either an absence of credible data, or overly-optimistic numbers based on methodologies known to be unreliable."  (more...)

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