IESO reports $80M loss after accounting change

Electricity system operator will raise fees it charges the power industry to recover losses.

TORONTO — Ontario’s efforts to ease the upward pressure on electricity rates has been dealt a setback by a change in Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) accounting practices.

In the government’s public accounts for 2015-16, the IESO reported a “previously unrecognized actuarial loss and past service costs” of just over $80 million.

The provincial agency that oversees Ontario’s electricity market says it will raise fees it charges the power industry to recover the losses as part of its accumulated deficit charge.

Progressive Conservative researchers discovered the $80 million loss in the public accounts and the Opposition plans to raise the issue in the legislature.

The Tories point out the loss more than offsets the $70 million the Liberals said would be saved over seven years under Ontario’s new deal to purchase 2 terawatt hours of electricity annually from Quebec.

The Liberals are also removing the 8% provincial portion of the HST from electricity bills, and scrapping plans for more wind and solar power projects, to reduce system costs and ease upward pressure on rates.

The IESO, which combined operations with the now-defunct Ontario Power Authority in January 2015, had an accumulated deficit of $74 million and a net debt of $184 million, with revenues of $187 million.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2016

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