Stateside Energy Issues Worry Canadian Contractors
“Energy service companies are emerging out of the process of deregulation,” was a statement from one of the sponsors of a series of seminars on the topic in Canada. In promoting such programs, sponsors ask, “Will electricity deregulation generate new energy for the hvac sector, or will it send a shock wave from which the industry might find it difficult to recover?”
Among names of some of the new energy retailers in Canada are Toronto Hydro Energy Services, Centrica/Direct Energy, Enwin Energy Services, and Enersource/ Hydro Mississauga.
The topic is also catching on in the consumer press. While in Kelowna, BC, for a recent Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES) Canada conference, attendees noted a headline in the business section of the local newspaper: “Power Shock in Alberta.”
“The province [Alberta] with ‘no problems’ and the ‘everything is rosy’ attitude is burdened with a $3 billion tab and there is nothing it can do about it,” wrote columnist John Thomson. “The combination of the deregulated power industry and the fast-rising cost of energy has resulted in major problems.”
He continued, “Albertans are paying a premium because of the competition for electricity in a crazy power market.” Then to bring the message home to his home province of British Columbia, he wrote, “B.C. Hydro was trying to tell our government that profits might not be in the books this year if it has to go to the open market to buy power.”