• The electricity bill for Haliburton Highlands Health Services has increased by $244,928 over five-year period
• Electricity bills have grown by 71.9 per cent for the hospital, even as actual electricity use remains the same

Haliburton Highlands Health Services sees electricity costs spike even as use stays the same

By -- Christine Van Geyn, CTF Ontario Director—— Bio and Archives--December 4, 2017

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Haliburton Highlands Health Services sees electricity costs spike even as use stays the same
TORONTO, ON: Documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) reveal that the electricity bills for Haliburton Highlands Health Services have faced a steep increase over the last five years, even as consumption has remained the same.

The documents show bills that are increasing, growing from $340,835 in 2012-13 to $585,763 in 2016-17, an increase of 72 per cent. During the same period, actual electricity use remained roughly the same, at 2.9 million kilowatts. Indeed, some years saw consumption decline and bills increase. For example, between 2012 and 2014 consumption fell by 256,000 kW, but the hospital’s bill increased by $24,876.

“How is Haliburton Highlands Health Services expected to manage their budget when electricity bills have rising dramatically every year, even as their consumption is falling?” asked CTF Ontario Director, Christine Van Geyn. “The more the hospital has to spend keeping their lights on, the fewer resources they have for patients.”

Ontario has seen dramatic increases to the cost of electricity, with bills for residential consumers more than doubling in the last decade.

Haliburton Highlands is not a unique case. The CTF has been releasing data for hospitals across the province. Hospitals across the board are seeing cost increases, even as many are reducing their consumption.  For example, electricity bills at William Osler Health in Brampton are up $4.3 million, nearly 126 per cent, over the past five years. North Bay Regional Health has seen an increase of 19 per cent since 2012, even though consumption has fallen, and similarly, Brockville General saw a 48 per cent increase over five years, even though their consumption also fell.

On Monday November 27, the government announced that it would be spending $64 million this year to improve energy efficiency in hospitals.

“It is obvious that the government is paying attention to our campaign about high electricity bills in hospitals, but spending more money on energy efficiency programs won’t solve the problem. We know from the data that many hospitals face increased bills even as they use less electricity. Hospitals are in the same situation that families across the province are in, where we are paying more to use less. Encouraging hospitals to save electricity is important, but we already know it won’t solve the problem. We need structural change,” concluded Van Geyn.

The “Stop High Energy Bills” campaign is part a more than year-long campaign by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, and has included the release of documents showing electricity cost increases for hospitals. More information on those releases can be found HERE.


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