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OEG’s Consumer Watch Group Continues to Fight High Energy Rates

shutterstock_131090588Over the past few months, Ontario Energy Group Consumer Watch has engaged in a project focusing on the out-of-control energy rates that residents are now paying, and the steps they can take to both understand the causes of these rates and how they can lower their energy bills.

This project comes in response to the much-maligned energy rate hike in May and natural gas hike in April of this year. While homeowners have seen a decline in energy usages, rates continue to climb much to the frustration and confusion of consumers.

While Ontario Energy Group has had substantial success in helping homeowners across the province improve the efficiency of their home HVAC appliances, the Consumer Watch branch of OEG has begun looking outside OEG’s usual scope into finding a comprehensive strategy that homeowners can use every day to lower their consumption and improve efficiencies in their home.

OEG still advises consumers that among all the changes they can make to their home, replacing outdated and inefficient furnaces, water heaters, and air conditioner units with up-to-date and modern systems. In Ontario, the average heating and cooling cost of a household makes up about 45% of a monthly energy bill, making this avenue still among the best ways to help conserve energy.

The Consumer Watch group has also connected with residents across Ontario to help them make sense of rising energy costs and what can be done to avoid what’s known as “energy poverty”, the very real condition in which households spend 10% or more of their income on energy needs.

As a province wide issue, OEG Consumer Watch recommends that conservation be the next step for reducing energy costs, not only in households, but on a whole.  OEG Consumer Watch summarized how conservation helps homeowners with the following: “…approximately $2 billion invested in conservation efforts has saved $4 billion in new generation since 2005, and it’s predicted that reducing our personal consumption by 20%, our energy bills would not rise for another 20 years. This is in the face of predictions from the Ontario Ministry of Energy that our bills will increase until 2032 without conservation.”

Ontario Energy Group Consumer Watch will continue to work with residents across the province and help them to save money on their energy bills, improve the efficiency of their home lives, and fight for fairer rates to ensure that this province remains affordable and plentiful in the days to come.