Social Distancing for Covid-19 affects electricity costs

Parker Gallant Energy Perspectives

The economic effects of Covid-19 are driving up the costs of electricity for residential and small businesses in jurisdictions, like Ontario, where time-of-use pricing is the standard.  As many businesses shut down temporally, lay off their employees or get them to work from home, electricity consumption will drop.  That drop will have little effect on the generators of that power, be they crown corporations or privately contracted ones. They receive guaranteed prices for their generation and for curtailed power (wind and solar), spilled hydro or steamed-off nuclear.  To add fuel to the fire we export surplus power to our neighbours at a price of about 10% of its cost.

The “social distancing” resulting from businesses closures, etc. will result in a power consumption drop. Despite the drop, however, costs to ratepayers and taxpayers will climb.  The effect; resulting from that social distancing and those milder temperatures during the Spring Freshet…

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