Kathleen Wynne announces 25% cut to hydro bills across Ontario

Mar 2 2017, 11:15 pm

The Ontario government has announced it will be reducing electricity costs across the province by 25%.

Premier Kathleen Wynne made the announcement on March 2, calling it “the largest cut to electricity rates in the history of Ontario.”

While residential hydro bills have been rising since 2009, the government reduced the rate by 8% by removing its harmonized sales tax (HST). Wynne’s announcement states that this cut will now be reduced an additional 17%.

The cut will go to all Ontario households, with greater breaks promised for lower income homes and rural areas.

The system restructuring is meant to deliver lasting relief across the province starting this summer.

Calling it “Ontario’s Fair Hydro Plan” rate increases over the next four years would be held to the rate of inflation for everyone.

The savings for the new plan is a direct result of refinancing, which will now stretch over a longer period of time.

“Recognizing that the electricity infrastructure that has been built will last for many decades to come, the province would refinance those capital investments to ensure that system costs are more equitably distributed over time,” states a provincial press release. “In addition, a number of important programs, such as the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP), will now be funded by the government instead of by ratepayers.”

The OESP will now be available to more low income households, and applicants can receive almost $425 off their bills per year.

The Ontario Energy Board sets electricity prices twice a year, on May 1 and November 1. According to the province, rates are set based on a forecast of the demand for electricity and how much it will cost to supply the province with electricity.

Whether or not this reduction is welcome by Ontario residents one thing is for sure, the dropping hydro rates are almost as low as Wynne’s approval rating these days.

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