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Ontario wants credit for credit: Document

Ontario’s government is forcing utilities to tout the 10 per cent electricity discount on hydro bills every month for the next five years, Torstar News Service has learned.

Ontario’s government is forcing utilities to tout the 10 per cent electricity discount on hydro bills every month for the next five years, Torstar News Service has learned.

Over the next few weeks, millions of households, farms and small businesses will begin receiving the new Ontario Clean Energy Benefit on their monthly hydro bills.

To ensure all 4.4 million electricity customers know where the reduction is coming from — with an election coming in 2011 — the Liberals have also ordered all local electricity distributors to include a special “buck slip” in bills explaining the program.

“Upgrading and modernizing our infrastructure is helping to provide reliable power to our homes and businesses. Building more clean energy is also creating thousands of jobs for Ontarians in our growing renewable energy industries, like solar, wind and hydroelectric,” it says.

While the government is footing the printing tab for the millions of buck slips, officials at local utilities are privately more miffed about another edict from Premier Dalton McGuinty’s administration.

Every month for the five-year duration of the 10 per cent discount program, they will have to include the following on all bills:

“A line to be added, at an appropriate location on the bill among the itemized charges, which will reflect the reduction, including the actual amount saved: Ontario Clean Energy Benefit (–10%),” according to a leaked communiqué.

“A message to be added to the bill, where conservation or other utility messages to consumers is usually placed: The Ontario Government has taken 10% off your electricity bill to help you with the costs of building a clean energy future.”

 
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