Chipping Away At Fortress EnWin

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Header-image-Maggio-2By Gabe Maggio

(WINDSOR, ON) – There is a continuing insistence, by a few, to perpetuate the contentious debate that EnWin keeps only 21% of the total electrical costs of your monthly bill. The more I read, the more I am convinced that they are simply using loose language to displace part of the bill out of their control, in this instance, the transmission portion (under the delivery line).

If I had all the facts, and I mean all the facts, I would be better positioned to prove it. But at this time I can only provide corroborating evidence and leave it with you to make your own judgement.

EnWin, your electrical service provider, claims that the Transmission Network Rate, is not set by them. In other words, they are sending a message that they control no part of this line item. Instead, they insist that the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) sets the rates.

The fact is that the OEB provides guidelines, but does not set the rates. EnWin, our Local Distribution Company (LDC), makes a rate application to the OEB for approval. Although the OEB carefully reviews the application, considering many factors, the application is borne by EnWin.

What we are also supposed to gather, from this denial of control, is that they derive no profits or retain any margin of profit from the Transmission Network Rate, because the revenues from this are supposedly all paid out to HydroOne.

HydroOne, which is a licensed Transmission Company, provides transmission services to EnWin and this relationship is dictated by a service agreement. HydroOne also has its own residential customers, outside of Windsor, and is the only company which EnWin can readily obtain transmission services.

In 2014, HydroOne set its own Transmission Network Rate to its own residential customers at $0.00707 per kWh. Likewise, EnWin set its residential Transmission Rate at $0.0080 per kWh. That is over 11% more than HydroOne charges its own customers.

Now consider this.

If HydroOne has a service agreement with EnWin, for wholesale transmission service, I imagine HydroOne is selling its transmission service rate to EnWin lower than it charges its own residential customer at $0.00707. In fact, EnWin is not purchasing kW from HydroOne by the hour, it is purchasing service in bulk, by the month, at a wholesale rate.

This would logically give EnWin control of a margin of revenue.

Will they admit this? I don’t think so.

They would rather call it cost recovery and make us believe it is a clean, 1-to-1 swap for service, passing on the exact cost to us, the end users.

That being said, there is another glaring contradiction. If EnWin does not set rates, but rather the OEB does, then why does the Transmission Network Rate vary from city to city across Ontario, with EnWin’s being one of the highest? For Transmission Network service rates, EnWin is at $0.0080, Thunder Bay at $0.0065, Brampton’s id $0.0076, and Woodstock comes in at $0.0065, for example.

EnWin Max Zalev Andrew Sasso OEB

Confused about energy? President and CEO of EnWin Utilities Ltd, Max Zalev speaks feverishly with EnWin’s Director of Regulatory Affairs, Andrew Sasso at a meeting at the downtown Holiday Inn. Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Consider also that the Ontario Energy Board provides the guidelines for Electricity Distribution Retail Transmission Service Rates. In order that you are able to better understand the following excerpt, clarifications are provided in the square brackets so that you can follow along with ease.

The purpose of the guideline is to provide electricity distributors [such as EnWin] with instructions on the evidence needed [evidence needed for EnWin to make a rate change application], and the process to be used to adjust retail transmission service rates (RTSR) to reflect changes in the Ontario Uniform Transmission Rates (UTR).

RTSR’s are charges that a distributor [EnWin] applies to end-use customers [that is you and I] to recover the costs associated with the payment by the distributor of wholesale transmission line connection, transformation connection, and network charges [provided by HydroOne].

Electricity transmitters in Ontario charge UTR’s [rates] to their transmission connected customers [EnWin]. These UTR’s are charged for network, line connection, and transformation connection services. Based on the most recent Decision and Rate Order of the Board [Rate Order is the approval of rates included in the delivery line of your bill] in the EB-2011-0268 proceeding, the UTR’s effective January 1, 2012 are as follows:

Network Service Rate – $3.57 per kW per month, Line Connection Service Rate – $0.80 per kW per month, Transformation Connection Service Rate – $1.86 per kW per month.

[EnWin is buying at wholesale rates from HydroOne dictated by their private service agreement and selling it to us, the end-user, at an authorized rate, not an across the board rate determined by the OEB]

Am I right? Well, time will tell.

In the meantime, I will keep on reading until we receive clear answers and full disclosure.

Gabe Maggio is a Candidate for Ward 3 in the 2014 Municipal Election in Windsor.

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About the Author

Ian Shalapata
Ian writes for and provides imagery to Square Media Group as well as accepting freelance photographic assignments. In addition, he has contributed to media organizations, sporting groups, and individuals across North America including the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Chatham-Kent Sports Network, the Golf Association of Michigan, League 1 Ontario, as well as numerous colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. Email Ian Shalapata

1 Comment on "Chipping Away At Fortress EnWin"

  1. Gabe great article, this is why we need the Ontario Auditor General to come to Windsor and do a complete audit of the cities books. We as taxpayers have a right to know how and were our money is being collected and how it is being spent. I really think 90% of our city councillors have no idea of what is going on, and just agree to everything that Eddie says. I wish you the best of luck in your bid for city council, the city needs honesty and integrity from our city councillors and I know that is what we would get out of you as a city councillor.

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