Thursday, May 31, 2007

Power Failure

Americans are facing an increase in electricity rates thanks to deregulation.

Illinois residents have seen a jump in electricity rates recently. NewsHour correspondent Elizabeth Brackett looks at the debate over deregulation and freezing rates in Illnois.

Which of course Albertans have faced since 2001.

A number of industry watchers, including Alberta Energy Minister Mel Knight, have been forecasting higher electricity costs for Albertans even before the Ed Stelmach government announced a new $15-per-tonne tax on carbon dioxide emissions.

And that's come on top of a $4.5-billion bill Alberta consumers are being asked to pay for desperately needed new transmission infrastructure.

Hydro Quebec rated Edmonton's residential electricity rate the fifth highest out of 11 cities in 10 provinces in 2006.

Here is the irony deregulation was supposed to create competition and thus fund infrastructure expansion. Instead it has cost consumers more, reduced competition creating power oligopolies and no new transmission infrastructure has been created.

Service, well we have increasing brown outs and black outs now thanks to deregulation. Something we now share with California.

EPCOR has begun rolling blackouts, cutting power to certain areas on alternating days to help conserve energy. It's not a terrible idea, but it makes day to day living a pain. There's no official schedule anywhere, so you just kind of have to guess when power in your area is going out.
However city owned EPCOR has increased its profits thanks to deregulation.

But these profits have not benefited consumers or tax payers, they have been shoveled into an income trust created by EPCOR. This is the real meaning of deregulation;

Epcor recently acquired TransCanada Power Limited Partnership, which now operates as Epcor Power L.P. The merger included the integration of 11 new power generation facilities located in Ontario, New York, British Columbia and Colorado. The new publicly-traded subsidiary is the largest publicly-traded company based in Edmonton.

EPCOR Power L.P. (the Partnership) is a limited partnership organized under the laws of the Province of Ontario, which owns and operates a portfolio of power generation assets in Canada and the United States.

The Partnership's mission is to be Canada's premier income fund, providing a growing, stable cash distribution to unitholders. This will be accomplished by being growth-oriented while providing unitholders with reliable long-term cash flows. Superior operating and commercial management practices will be applied to a quality portfolio of energy assets.

Stock Quote: EP.UN



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1 comment:

Cliff said...

Even the free market high church The Cato Institute has figured out that electricity deregulation is an expensive failure.