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Hydro rate hike in new time of use, or tiered system

It will cost electricity users more to plug in as of Nov. 1 as the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) approves new pricing and rates.

A “typical” residential hydro customer can expect a $2.24 increase (or about 1.97 per cent) on their monthly bill, the OEB states.

After months of flat rate pricing at 12.8 cents/kWh, Ontario is going to time-of-use (TOU) and tiered electricity pricing for households and small businesses.

The Doug Ford government went to flat rates in response to people spending more time at home due to the pandemic – though it still resulted in increased bills for most users. The reduced time-of-use electricity rate of 10.1 cents per kilowatt ended and the new “recovery rate” of 12.8 cents is in effect until Oct. 31. The off-peak cost in May 2019 had been 6.5 cents – about half the ‘recovery’ rate.

The Ford government has moved to a choice between a new TOU or tiered service.

The OEB’s new winter rates for customers who stay on TOU pricing will be 21.7 cents/kWh for use of electricity during peak hours, 15 cents/kWh for mid-peak use and 10.5 cents/kWh for off peak use.

The TOU winter schedule begins Nov. 1 with off-peak between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. weekdays and all-day weekends and holidays. Mid peak will be weekdays between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., and the priciest peak power will be charged between 7 to 11 a.m., and then again between 5-7 p.m. on weekdays.

Customers who want to shift to tiered pricing can check with their local hydro provider starting Tuesday.

They’ll pay 12.6 cents/kWh for the first 1,000 kWh they use each month, and 14.6 cents kWh for any excess power used in the same month.

The yearly increase works out to $26.88 for customers eligible for the Ontario Electricity Rebate – on TOU using an average of 700 kWh per month. The Ontario government has increased that rebate to 33.2 per cent, from 31.8 per cent, effective Nov. 1, 2020.

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