(TORONTO, ON) – Documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation reveal that the electricity bills for the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance have faced a steep increase over the last five years. The documents show bills which are increasing, growing from $1,230,757 in 2012-13 to $1,477,700 in 2016-17, an increase of over 20 per cent.
“How is Chatham-Kent Health Alliance expected to manage their budget when electricity bills have rising dramatically every year?” 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. The Chatham-Kent documents are a part of a campaign CTF is running across Ontario showing how high electricity costs are hurting health care.
In many cases, the CTF has found that hospital electricity bills are up even though consumption is down.
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,” said Van Geyn. “We know from the data that many hospitals face increased bills even as they use less electricity. Encouraging hospitals to save electricity is important, but we already know it won’t solve the problem. We need structural change.”
The Stop High Energy Bills campaign is part of a more than year-long campaign by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and has included the release of documents showing electricity cost increases for hospitals.