Energy report misses its mark: NDP

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Mike Redmond said the report jumps quickly to a hybrid model, where the province would take over ownership of Maritime Electric's generation capacity, leaving many unanswered questions

Energy Commission Report

The leader of P.E.I.'s NDP says he disappointed with the report of the P.E.I. Energy Commission released Friday saying the commission missed its mark by not including sufficient information and analysis on a number of key issues, including public ownership of Maritime Electric's electric generation.

Mike Redmond said the report jumps quickly to a hybrid model, where the province would take over ownership of Maritime Electric's generation capacity,  leaving many unanswered questions on the respective roles of Maritime Electric and the P.E.I. Energy Corporation.

The report recommends a three-person panel within the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission (IRAC) to provide scrutiny of Maritime Electric’s cost of service, and a consumer advocate to represent individual ratepayers.

“These new panel and advocacy structures would not be necessary if government were doing its job of representing Islanders," said Redmond. “And if the goal is to have Maritime Electric conform to some real expectations on prices then we should be up front about the Electric Power Act and its regulations.”

"Islanders are right to expect better from this kind of public expenditure," NDP leader Mike Redmond

The commission report discusses community-based renewable energy innovations such as small wind turbines on farms and at municipal facilities and commercial establishments, but only advocates further studies.

“It really feels like we did not get enough out of this commission’s work to see any tangible benefit to Islanders, both as consumers and producers of energy at the local level. This report seems, at first look at least, like a corporate deal where government is taking on more and more of a private corporation’s debt.  Islanders are right to expect better from this kind of  public expenditure."

Organizations: Maritime Electric, Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission, P.E.I. Energy Commission P.E.I. Energy Corporation.The

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Recent comments

  • consumer energy advocate
    July 24, 2013 - 07:26

    New public health and environmental safeguards proposed and implemented in the last several years are poised to save tens of thousands of lives and billions of dollars in health costs annually. For example, the new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for Power Plants are expected to prevent up to 11,000 premature deaths and 130,000 cases of aggravated asthma each year, while saving American families up to $90 billion in health costs by curbing the pollution in our air and water.

  • Bertie
    January 07, 2013 - 09:22

    So I got through the document and oh boy does this need a serious round of public hearings. I cannot believe such an unbalanced ' deal' could get on the table without a lot of provisos. So little clarity on the state of the ME infrastructure. So little firmess in terms of rates. Transmission is the power in energy? Are we still closed to competitive sources of power??This is worse than the energy accord which was jut a vote buying maneuver through debt at election time. Redmond could not have said it better--- way too many unanswered questions.

  • John W.A. Curtis
    January 06, 2013 - 22:24

    Robert ghiz has increased P.E.I.,s by over 500 million dollars and could have built a third cable but waits nearly six years to allow Maritime Electric sell old generation plants

  • Tobias
    January 06, 2013 - 13:03

    I have read parts of the report and yes Redmond is correct. This is not one of those reports with lots of background, diiferent options outlined, and a really solid argument for the chosen course. No this is a prescription right from the start to the finish. Has the back room smell that has gotten stronger in Island politics over the last decade or so. The core ' deal' here was obvioulsy cooked up months or even years ago. As a report it is not even an attempted smoke screen. It is just a collection of text around a back room deal. Redmond is wise to put the run on the boys on this one. For sure.

    January 06, 2013 - 09:58

    To James Magoo, we are already getting shafted by Maritime Electric. Just recently it was announced in this paper that the Government is giving 45 million dollars to Maritime Electric to pay for the electricity that Maritimer Electric is selling to us. How is that for a win win deal for the parent company of Maritime Electric (FORTIS) which by the way made a profit of over 300 million in the last quarter of 2012. Maritime Electric shareholders are GUARANTEED a return of a minimum of 10 per cent. Why do you think we have the highest rates in the country? I find it truly incredably that we have elected officals who could be so dim witted unless they are shareholders.

    • Bill Kays
      Bill Kays
      January 06, 2013 - 16:22

      I wish I could invest $1. and be guaranteed a return of 10%. I only have $2. in my pocket but if I reinvest it back into Maritime Electric year after year I could get rich fairly quickly compared to other investments. How long does the government think we will put up with this crap?

    January 06, 2013 - 08:24

    Just what we don't need more political buddies in IRAC working against the people.

  • Will Islanders be planb'd again?
    January 06, 2013 - 08:22

    Another of the "many unanswered questions" is the state of Maritime Electric's facility. When was the last infrastructure audit done? It's more than plausible rumour there's parts of the facility that still has asbestos in places that renders the plant highly problematic - both fiscally and environmentally. Until this claim is dismissed, why would the province (IE: Islanders) even consider taking over ownership of Maritime Electric's generation capacity? Until comprehensive due diligence is performed, Islanders should run from this proposal as fast as possible. The only real question is, can we run away from the proposal faster than the well positioned stock holders run to Mr. Ghiz and his pals? Lest Islanders be be planb'd yet again, it's time to ask hard questions and demand hard answers.

    • Just Shut Up TreeHugger . . .
      January 06, 2013 - 14:30

      No doubt you're one of the "unpleasables" Mr. Ghiz refers to in his end of year chat with CBC's Bruce Rainnie. Just because Mr. Ghiz secures his own self-interest by doing "favours" for PEI's elite doesn't make him a bad premier, does it? If you tree hugging plan B hating unpleaseables would just go away and stop asking questions, we could go back to the way it was before this Plan B thing. Wake up, Island politics is driven by patronage, payola and propaganda - just wait your turn and learn to feed off the table scraps like the rest of us.

  • johnthames
    January 06, 2013 - 08:09

    Looks like a fair critique, Redmond sees right through Ghiz's plans to take over Maritime Electric's debt under the guise the province plays lower rates. I met Mike, smart, balanced person, all business, and not going to be fooled by the criminals on the 5th floor. Letting Ghiz take over ME's debts under the cover of his hand-picked report could be the final nail in the island coffin. We cannot afford to do this any more than we can afford Ghiz.

  • Marie
    January 06, 2013 - 07:42

    Maybe they can use some of the 21 million they said they overcharged ratepayers over a five year period!!!

  • Greeneyed Monster
    January 06, 2013 - 07:11

    Do you really think anybody is listening to all this banter. A BOARD OF THREE!!! The island has a board of 130000 + so who really cares how big or small this appointed board will be. Hit me again with that hose boy, I love it!

  • Concerned Taxpayer
    January 06, 2013 - 06:47

    Great info Mike Redmond, this is the kind of upfront Politicians Islanders need, this report skirts many issues and yes what did this review cost and what exactly did we as taxpayers get. Ghiz Government should shoulder ths cost NOT the taxpayers

  • Good points
    January 06, 2013 - 06:19

    Good points made by Redmond. The NDP seem like the actual opposition to the Liberal government. I hope they get a lot of support at the polls, we need Redmond in the house!

  • James Macgoo Lakeside
    January 06, 2013 - 05:59

    The report is worthy of further discussion. More details are required concerning why transmission and distribution components are not in sale. These assets are the "toll roads" for power. They represent the highways that must be traveled. Whoever owns them can charge what they determine. The generation assets require more money to maintain and are subject to more environmental issues. I would be more interested in understanding why transmission and distribution components were not included and if there are agreements in place for future costs of using these "toll roads". Maritime could end up with the gold and we get the shaft!

    • Bill Kays
      Bill Kays
      January 06, 2013 - 10:42

      James you are absolutely right on this issue. Thanks to Mike Redmond for being alert on this subject. It sounds like they want the taxpayers to take all the risk by assuming Maritime Electric's debt. By not stating the transmission and distribution components WE do not know (but I am betting THEY do) who stands to make the profit. Yes James without these components clearly spelled out it could end up with Ghiz's buddies making all the money again by charging whatever they wish for the use of the infrastructure. Again, I caution everyone to wary of these so called "public private partnerships".

  • Joe Blow
    January 05, 2013 - 22:37

    Bravo!!! Finally a politician with Islanders best interests at heart!!! Good job Mr'll be getting my vote if you keep this kind of thing up!! Fight the good fight Sir!!

  • finances
    January 05, 2013 - 22:29

    exactly how do they , as in everyone, think we are capable of paying to take over the electric utility? last time i checked, we cant afford a kick in the pants, let alone take over millions upon millions of new debt? i like the concept dont get me wrong but i dont see this as an option without the feds paying the bill on this one

    • aaron
      January 06, 2013 - 08:47

      and you think "the feds" are in a better position to pay the bill?

  • Hello Mr.
    January 05, 2013 - 22:24

    How much did this "study" cost Islanders? How is the average Islander going to be better off now after spending this money? Mr. Ghiz. It's time for you to start talking to the public and answering these questions. Have things gone so far out of your control that there is no return? Are you longing for the days when pop cans and Sunday shopping were your biggest issues to dodge?

  • candrayo
    January 05, 2013 - 21:11

    Thank GOD....the voice of reason. there is some hope after all..soooo nice to smile reading the news for a change and see that logic, and common sense is something I can hope for with the next election from the NDP's.

  • Fred Affleck
    January 05, 2013 - 20:57

    The NDP are starting to sound like a real alternative

    • S.S.
      January 06, 2013 - 10:00

      They have been with 22% of support in recent polls.