Saturday, August 31, 2013

The 1%

This propaganda blurb is courtesy the Toronto Hydro-Electric System, accompanying my most recent every-other-month bill. The 1% struck me as unusually low. Looking over the source document, the relevant fact should be gleanable from the last column of this table, but (alas) electricity is grouped with water and fuel, which (in total) constitute 3.1% of the average 2009 household expenditure, the latest available. Why use the Canada-wide table instead of the Ontario one? Because Ontario's is slightly higher at 3.3%. How does Toronto Hydro arrive at 1%? Presumably by suggesting that electricity is one third of the water-fuel-electricity expenditure. In our household (which uses natural gas for cooking and heating), electricity actually represents half of that water-fuel-electricity total.

Our entire 2009 income was just 46% of that average household expenditure suggested by Statistics Canada. We didn't, but suppose we spent every penny of our earnings that year. What fraction would have been for electricity? The answer is 3.7%.

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