The Canadian Electricity Customer
The focus is on you.
All Canadian businesses are driven by customer values, needs and wants and electric utilities are no different in this respect. Canadian consumers, business and industry want affordable, reliable, and sustainable electricity and electric utilities have always responded.
- Even though Canada has low electricity prices compared to other countries, we know that electricity customers are sensitive to price increases.
- Canadians pay average electricity prices that are lower (and in many cases substantially lower) than most other industrialized countries of the world. These lower prices pay for a system that is as reliable as any in the world, and that is much cleaner than most — with more than 77 per cent of our electricity supply being hydro and nuclear, which do not emit the gases that lead to climate change and smog.
- Even with the rise in the price of electricity that is sure to happen to reflect the new equipment and the renewal of infrastructure we must make, electricity is still a bargain. The price of electricity is still very much an investment in the future.
- The price increase for residential electricity has increased just 28 per cent from 1999 to 2009, the lowest amongst property taxes, water and Internet services. Our economy and lifestyles are increasingly dependent on the reliable provision of electricity. While there are upward pressures on electricity prices as new infrastructure is built, the average cost of electricity has increased at a much slower rate than for other services such as telecom, cable, property taxes and water bills.
- In 2010 Statistics Canada reported that 82 per cent of Canadian households had personal computers — which are dependent on electricity to operate, as are our household appliances, cell phones, gaming devices and heating and cooling systems. And soon, so will many of our motor vehicles! Yet we rarely connect the dots from the value received from these devices (not to mention X-ray and MRI machines) and the availability of a reliable electricity system.
- Over the next 20 years, renewing and rebuilding the electricity sector will require substantial investments in order to continue to provide residential, business and industrial customers with the level of service they have come to expect, and need to power the economy and to compete in this new age of information, entertainment and communication driven by electricity consuming devices.
- We’re currently powering the heating, lighting, cool-ing and the home and work lives of 35 million Canadians, on an electricity system built for 20 million. It is aging and it’s time to make some choices about how we want to renew it.
- Statistics Canada, “Table 203-00271,2, Survey of household spending (SHS), dwelling characteristics and household equipment at time of interview, Canada, regions and provinces,” Statistics Canada website, http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/a26?lang=eng&retrLang=eng&id=2030027&pattern=computer+household&tabMode=dataTable&srchLan=1&p1=1&p2=-1, accessed October 17, 2012.