Electric bills in Ontario to increase by almost 2% starting next month

Oct 13 2020, 12:34 pm

Electric bills in Ontario are set to increase by almost 2% by the start of November, as fixed pricing comes to an end.

On Tuesday, the Ontario Energy Board said the total bill for a typical residential customer who uses 700 kWh per month will increase by about $2.24 or 1.97%. This percentage is reached after accounting for the bill relief provided by the Ontario Electricity Rebate (OER) — a total (pre-tax) bill credit that appears at the bottom of electricity bills.

The Ontario government has increased that rebate from 31.8% to 33.2% effective November 1.

The provincial government also announced today, that customers eligible for the OER will automatically receive a 33.2% reduction off their energy bill when new electricity rates for Regulated Price Plan (RPP) customers come into effect at the start of November.

At the same time, customers paying Time-of-Use (TOU) rates under the RPP will also have the option to switch to tiered rate pricing.

“Time-of-use electricity rates vary by time of day and are comprised of three different rate periods of off-peak, mid-peak and on-peak pricing. Tiered electricity rates provide customers with a set rate for electricity up to a certain level of consumption,” the release notes.

Rates for time-of-use plans will be 21.7 cents/kWh during peak hours, 15 cents/kWh for mid-peak hours, and 10.5 cents/kWh for off-peak use.

Ontario Energy Board

If customers choose tiered pricing they will pay 12.6 cents/kWh for the first 1000 kWh each month and then 14.6 cents/kWh for any power used beyond that point.

On June 1, the government changed time-of-use pricing to set a single price for all hours of. the day so that customers were charged 12.8 cents/kWh per hour no matter their time of use.

The province has also revised the eligibility requirements for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) and the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB).

Now households, small businesses, and charitable organizations who made partial payments on amounts owing before the COVID-19 emergency period are eligible for the CEAP and CEAP-SB one-time on-bill credit to help pay down electricity bill debt.

“The expanded eligibility also eliminates the requirement for residential consumers to be unemployed when applying for CEAP. Local utilities will re-assess previously rejected applications and start accepting new applications on October 16, 2020,” the release says.

Ontario is also introducing a new Energy Affordability Program (EAP) for households “struggling to pay their electricity bills.”

Beginning the week of January 4, 2021, EAP will:

  • Provide free electricity saving measures to help participating households manage their electricity-use and lower their electricity costs by up to $1,000 per year
  • Tailor energy-efficiency upgrades based on household income, home heating system, location, and an energy needs assessment
  • Simplify access to new and updated electricity saving measures through a single program that replaces the Affordability Fund Trust and Home Assistance Program, which are ending in 2020