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Ontario Energy Board Stakeholder Conference this week to tackle request for big rate increases

(PIAC 12/09/09)—This week, an Ontario Energy Board panel will study the request of Ontario’s natural gas and electricity distribution companies for higher rates to compensate their public and private ownership with a bigger return on investment. The request comes about as a result of the economic downturn and may mean that energy customers in Ontario could see rate increases to cover the estimated annual additional $250-400 million sought by the sector to meet investor expectations.

“The demands of electric distributors like Hydro One and Toronto Hydro as well as natural gas distribution companies like Enbridge and Union Gas are being resisted by a range of consumer organizations including residential, commercial and industrial consumers. Coupled with the financial demands the Green Energy Act will place on Ontario consumers, it seems out of place to be considering bigger profits for the suppliers,” said Michael Janigan, counsel for the Vulnerable Energy Consumer Coalition, a coalition representing low income customers, seniors and tenants, which is a party to the proceedings.

The OEB Stakeholder Conference (OEB File 2009-0084) is expected to last all week.

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