Monday, August 8, 2011

Comparing Costs

On 5 August 2011, an article entitled ‘Time-of-use Coming to Parry Sound in September’ appeared in Cottage Country Now (a website representing a number of newspapers in the Muskoka/Parry Sound and surrounding area).   Within the article, it is noted that: ‘Running one load of dirty dishes through the dishwasher during off-peak hours will cost approximately 18 cents, while using the same amount of electricity during on-peak hours rings in at 36 cents.’  Following an earlier post on this blog, I would suggest that the ‘100% difference’ is more like a ‘50% difference’.
Interestingly, the calculations were taken from the IESO’s ’10 Smart Meter Lane’ website, where sample costs of typical household activities are presented under the three different ‘pricing periods’ in Ontario.  Noteworthy, however, is that it is just – as the IESO acknowledges – ‘commodity’ costs that are represented here.  While potentially useful as an educational tool, it does nevertheless serve to understate the total cost of the electricity service to the householder as well as overstate the relative difference between, say, on-peak and off-peak delivery of these same electricity services.  Non-commodity costs are different across the province, but they should be accounted for, least confusion increase once the ‘bills come through the door’.

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