Ontario residents could see their electricity bills go up by hundreds of dollars a year once the province’s Green Energy Act takes effect, according to a new report released yesterday.

Higher energy costs brought on by the legislation could see household bills rise by $280 to $780 a year on average between 2010 and 2025, said the independent study commissioned by the Opposition Conservatives.

That doesn’t include the impact of tax harmonization, which will tack on another eight per cent to home heating costs when Ontario merges its sales tax with the federal GST next year.

Energy and Infrastructure Minister George Smitherman insisted any additional costs to consumers will be minimal and accused the Opposition of harbouring a secret agenda to keep Ontario’s polluting coal-fired plants open.

The government insists its green energy bill will attract investment in renewable energy to Ontario.

But their claims the legislation will create more than 50,000 jobs over three years is unsubstantiated, according to the report by London Economics International.

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