$8 billion is to be spent on approved green energy projects, like wind farms, in Ontario. This will increase energy costs and has the public in an uproar.
Green initiatives typically aren’t cheap, meaning that some individuals are able to afford to dive all in to the green movement and others have to pick and choose due to financial constraints. In some cases, the big monetary costs don’t seem justified. In others, it makes sense that new innovations might be a bit more pricey particularly when there is a measurable benefit or even a long-term savings for the user. The latest green controversy surrounds a major hike in electricity prices set to take place in Ontario, Canada.
By 2012, a mere two years away, Ontario homeowners will be paying an estimated additional $300 each year, a substantial increase. Some of the increased cost of electricity is simply that — a cost increase with no specific reasoning. However, approximately half of that cost increase has been blamed on Ontario’s plans to increase their use of green power.
Ontario recently announced green energy projects like wind turbines and other technologies to convert solar and other natural electricity sources into usable energy that should generate enough to power 600,000 homes. These projects, which have already been approved, will total approximately $8 billion.
Ontario may become a front-runner when it comes to green initiatives in Canada with these changes, and that should bring a positive focus. But instead, the steep electricity rate hikes are stealing the thunder because people fear how they, who are indirectly footing the bill for these green projects, will be able to afford it.
There are a couple of issues with this – for one, the media isn’t focusing upon Ontario’s green energy plans; rather, it’s the electricity bills that have found their way to the front. So, like many other green initiatives, money matters more than environmental progress, which is a shame. Secondly, of course, there’s the question as to whether or not it’s a justified expense, since it’s being forcefully applied to all Ontario residents without them having any choice. Some believe green change should be personal, that instead that $300 a year could be applied to a new energy-efficient home appliance or something else that would help an individual or family reduce their carbon footprint. Others believe these are necessary changes to make real environmental progress. The financial debate over green options won’t go anywhere anytime soon, and there are valid points on all sides of the argument; this is just one more example to fuel the fire.
What do you think about what’s happening in Ontario and, generally, where do you stand on the financial implications of going green?
Image Credit: Nualabugeye via flickr under a CC license