I have been serving on the PUC Boards (PUC Inc., PUC Services and PUC Distribution) and the water commission (PUC) since shortly after I was elected in 2014. I want to recognize the hard work of rest of the directors who sit on the Boards with me, along the management team and staff at the PUC group of companies. We have done a lot of good work over the past few years and we have been mindful of and focused on the cost of water and power to our consumers. We recognize that with the rising cost of electricity, it is becoming more and more difficult to pay your PUC bill. We have, where we can and with the help of City Council, tried to reduce the burden as best we can. While we still recognize that it is challenging for many, I think these two graphs highlight our hard work:
In the first graph you will see that our water/waste water costs were the 11th lowest in the province in 2017 (see the first black arrow) of 98 comparators. The data in the top left corner data box compares our 2017 costs to North Bay, Greater Sudbury and Thunder Bay specifically. You can see the that water/waste water costs are quite a bit lower here than in those communities.
In the second graph you will see our monthly electricity costs compared to the remainder of the local distribution companies (LDCs) in Ontario. The data we have compares a residential user at 750 kWh per month across the province. Sault Ste. Marie is the 4th lowest of 81 comparators.
I don’t offer you this information to suggest that your monthly water/waste water and electricity costs are low or affordable. I appreciate that to and for many they are not. I offer this information to you so that you can see we are trying our best to make these essential services as affordable as possible and that, comparatively, we are making progress. We will keep at it. It is important to me, City Council and the PUC boards that Sault Ste. Marie is an affordable community to live in.