Thursday, July 21, 2005

Do We Have A Right To Electricity?

As I've mentioned before, we in Ontario are in the midst of an electricity shortage. The financial costs alone of this situation are pretty huge - for every kilowatt-hour Ontario has to import, the government is paying 53 cents - or roughly ten times the domestic rate. Meanwhile, office buildings continue to be air conditioned to 20 degrees celsius, because god forbid we ask men to wear shorts and t-shirts.

The reckoning will come, of course, in one form or another - either taxes will go up, spending will go down, or electricity rates will rise. Either way, the public as a whole will suffer for this nearly perfect example of a tragedy of the commons. In the worst case, we'll face blackouts.

So rationing is going to be a reality one way or another. We don't have the means to ration electricity in real-time yet, but we really need to face the reality that, barring an explosion in new supply, the government is going to need to constrict demand somehow. Now watch for the screaming to begin...

2 comments:

Battlepanda said...

Just like what happened in California...

People have a choice: If they want government to keep electricity cheap for them, then they will have to let government regulate how much electricity they can use (rationing). If they want to keep the air-conditioning going full blast all day, then they'll have to pay more expensive imported electricity. The gov. is not some magical free-stuff machine. All the benefits come from you taxes, people. It's your money. Don't demand that it be spent foolishly.

Ugh! People are dumbasses everywhere.

James said...

Here is a link for more information on Ontario electricity prices and what the government has been promising.