Ontario NDP brings issue of hydro bills back to election campaign trail

·1 min read

Ontario's NDP is promising to lower hydro bills on the campaign trail today, reigniting the hot topic of 2018's election, though they're approaching it through energy efficiency rather than direct subsidies.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says she would offer grants of up to $11,000 for people to make energy efficient upgrades to their homes, and interest-free financing for higher amounts, which would both help lower utility bills and fight the climate crisis.

The former Liberal government introduced a plan to subsidize hydro costs as soaring bills became a major source of anger ahead of the 2018 election - they had doubled over the course of a decade due in part to the Liberals' green energy initiatives.

The Progressive Conservatives promised to further slash bills by another 12 per cent, and while Ontario's financial watchdog says prices have actually risen since 2018, changes the Tories made to subsidy programs have kept bills lower than they would have been under the Liberal plan.

PC Leader Doug Ford says his government did lower rates for large manufacturers, which he ties to attracting more investment, such as from auto companies.

Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca says a new Liberal government would transition as quickly as possible to a clean energy supply, but without sending bills soaring.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 7, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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