Tecumseh Mayor Gary McNamara is worried the projected increase in the cost of power could drive business out of his town and the province.
McNamara raised the issue with Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa on Thursday..
Sousa was in the region to hold a pre-budget consultation session.
"Yes, it’s a concern," Sousa said of the cost of energy. "We’ve invested heavily in infrastructure."
Sousa said the government tries to balance all costs to industries.
"We’ve become the lowest-cost and competitive jurisdiction when it comes to taxes in North America," he said.
The industrial rate for electricity is expected to rise 33 per cent over the next five years.
"I'm getting calls from our local food processor and they're very, very concerned about what it means to them," the mayor said.
Bonduelle processes fruit and vegetables at the old Green Giant plant in Tecumseh.
McNamara said the company, which is based in Quebec, has to compete globally.
"Their sister company is in Quebec," McNamara said. "They have quite a favourable rate, in terms of hydro."
According to the Association of Major Power Consumers of Ontario, industrial customers pay approximately $85 per megawatt hour in Ontario when all components of the price of electricity is included. That's more than double the $40 average paid in neighbouring provinces Manitoba, Quebec and the state of Michigan.
"We need to start looking at what those impacts are going to be for industry. I'm talking Chrysler. I'm talking Ford. I'm talking all of them," McNamara said. "When you're looking at that sizeable increase over a very short period of time, that's a high impact, and 80 per cent of the costs of those increases are the direct responsibility of the province."
He's not the first mayor to complain about the rising cost of industrial rates.
Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley is concerned the high cost of energy could deter Nova Chemical from expanding in his city.
"The No. 1 issue that comes to the top of the list on almost every project that might locate here is the cost of power," Bradley told CBC Windsor last year. "Chemical plants, in particular, are heavy users of power so there's a good payback, but we need the province to make sure we're competitive with our American friends."