(WINDSOR, ON) – How much gold-plating is going on within EnWin?
In 2009 EnWin reported to the Ontario Energy Board that their annual administrative costs were $15.4 million. In 2010, that figure jumped to $17.2 million and again rose in 2011, this time to $19 million. And then it skyrocketed to $22.3 million in 2012.
In just four short years administrative costs at EnWin increased almost $7 million while they have been dealing with a shrinking customer base. That is over a 30% increase in administrative costs, not in operations.
To put this in perspective, let’s take a comparative look at London Hydro (LH) which has about 59,000 more customers than EnWin. Over the same period, London increased it administrative costs by only 8%; rising from $15.2 million to $16.5 million.
While London Hydro serves a general population of over 366,000, in comparison EnWin serves just 215,000. London Hydro has a customer base of 136,000 connections, while EnWin’s is just over 77,000. The City of London, which includes a partial rural landscape, has a more challenging distribution system as they must run many more kilometers of line to service their customers. Consequently LH deals with more of an electrical “loss factor”. However, LH has managed to bury more than 50% of its lines in comparison to EnWin where just 40% of lines are underground.
Windsor, has no rural customers allowing its wires to be more efficiently strung within a denser population, and buried in cases. This, in itself, should make EnWin more efficient and profitable, and better able to pass the savings onto its customers.
But is this the case? You be the judge.
Despite the challenges that London faces, their “distribution revenue per customer” is less than EnWin’s by more than 6%. That means LH customers are paying less per year.
Moreover, with 59,000 more customers, LH has 1,700 more kilometers of power lines and invoices about $500 million more kilowatt hours than EnWin. It would stand to reason that London Hydro would draw more revenue than EnWin, and it does.
They earn $117 million more than EnWin even while LH’s customer’s conserve more energy.
However, London Hydro seemingly outperforms EnWin in every category, financial and operational, except when it comes to administrative costs. Where London Hydro services a larger area, more customers, and deals with more challenges, London Hydro’s administrators in 2012 count for an expense of just $16.5 million while EnWin’s brass take home over $22.3 million.
In a recent 2013 report entitled Productivity and Benchmarking Research in Support of Incentive Rate Setting in Ontario, and in a final submission to the Ontario Energy Board just this past January 2014, EnWin Utilities Ltd was found to be at the bottom of the pack of 73 distributers with regards to the econometric evaluations of the cost performance of Ontario electricity distribution companies.
EnWin ranked 66 out of 73, as matter of fact.
Interestingly, Mayor Francis states that we are paying for the “best of the best” to manage EnWin.
I beg to differ.
Gabe Maggio is a Candidate for Ward 3 in the 2014 Windsor Municipal Election.