North Bay, ON – Once again, as we have seen energy prices soar in Ontario and we are seeing more and more manufacturers pull up roots and relocate elsewhere like the northern States or Quebec for this very reason. Energy costs are becoming cost prohibitive for doing business in Ontario and the government needs to recognize that all businesses big or small are no longer able to remain competitive.
The Government continues to move forward with more Feed In Tariff (FIT) contracts, that only add to the global adjustment rate and yet Ontario continues to over-produce energy. We recognize the current FIT contracts cannot be changed, as they are long term agreements for those producing wind and solar energy.
The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce passed a resolution to take this one step further; the board asks the government to cease entering into any new contracts at this time to do a proper cost/benefit analysis on energy in Ontario.
While the concept of moving towards more green energy is appropriate, the reality is the program has not seen any increase in green energy and has only added costs to the ratepayers of Ontario.
President Jake Lacourse stated “energy costs are second to only labour costs in Ontario and as such businesses need to make hard decisions in operations to remain competitive. If businesses leave for cheaper labour and energy to other locations, the current energy production needs to be spread across those other businesses and residential taxpayers to cover the costs and again the rates go higher. It is a vicious circle, yet since we can’t store energy and/or determine when the sun shines or the wind blows, we need to pay for the energy when it’s produced.”
The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce recommends that the Provincial Government:
- Put a moratorium on any and all new renewable energy contracts immediately, in the province of Ontario;
- Do an appropriate cost/benefit analysis;
- Identify the current risks that energy costs have on current business and those that have relocated out of province;
- Devise a plan to ensure energy costs are competitive for business;
- Recognize that as businesses leave Ontario, the global adjustment still needs to be paid by the remaining businesses and residents of Ontario, yet is already unaffordable for many.
“It needs to be noted that these businesses employ the residents and both are struggling to keep up with the costs of energy” stated President Lacourse.
To view the letter to the Minister of Energy – CLICK HERE