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If governments and power regulators across the country are already being hit by the disruptive effect of low-cost electricity, the Pembina Institute's Sara Hastings-Simon says prices are likely to continue to fall.

And commercial generators won't invest unless they have a secure market for their output.The final bill also includes charges such as transmission fees and taxes.A secure source of electrical power is so crucial to a modern economy that government agencies must plan decades in advance to make sure the lights don't go out.Similarly in Quebec, says Pineau, despite a glut of low-cost power, the province is continuing to construct the final stage of its La Romaine hydroelectric project, planned when natural gas prices, and thus electricity prices, were high.Now few experts expect the price of power will justify the outlay.But whether through their electricity bills or through taxes, Canadians have been left paying for an expensive legacy system of power generation that produces more energy than the economy can consume.While similar problems exist across the country, energy economist Adam Fremeth says it may be most pronounced in Ontario."The second important milestone is when new renewables become cheaper than operating existing plants." She says we're reaching that second moment now.Hastings-Simon, Pineau and Fremeth all said that adapting to the new low-cost energy regime will require a rethink of our current models for funding electricity.He points to the example of natural gas plants that spend most of their time on standby."Some of the facilities that we have fixed contracts with and have agreed to take their power under different schemes are only being used a few hours a year," says Fremeth, a specialist in economics and public policy at Western University's Ivey Business School.

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