TORONTO – Thousands of businesses in Ontario that don’t qualify for a 17-per-cent cut to their electricity bills are like the forgotten middle child, a manufacturing group said Tuesday.
The Liberal government’s announcement last month applies to residential electricity customers and about half a million small businesses and farms on time-of-use pricing. The Industrial Conservation Initiative program for large manufacturers and businesses was also expanded so that more industrial customers would qualify.
But there are thousands of Ontario businesses that are too big for one program and too small for the other, and the government estimates they will only see about two to four per cent off their bills. Jocelyn Bamford, with the Coalition of Concerned Manufacturers, said the 70 manufacturers the coalition represents don’t feel valued.
“We feel that a lot of manufacturers are the middle child that are completely left out,” she said. “They saw almost nothing in the recent announcements.”
There are currently about 50,000 consumers in that middle group – including industrial, commercial and municipal facilities. The government doesn’t yet know how many of those consumers will qualify for the expanded industrial program, but Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault said it would be “thousands.”
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