TORONTO — Average residential hydro customers will see their electricity bills go up by $2.24 a month when a new rate schedule takes effect at the beginning of November.
Ontario suspended time-of-use billing in late March when the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, fixing the price of electricity at all hours of the day at its off-peak rate of 10.1 cents per kilowatt hour.
In June, it implemented a flat rate of 12.8 cents per kilowatt hour, still well below the usual mid-peak and high-peak rates.
Fixed pricing comes to an end on November 1, when the province reverts to time-of-use pricing and – for customers who choose this method – tiered pricing.
Customers who stay on TOU pricing will pay rates of 10.5 cents off-peak, 15 cents mid-peak, and 21.7 cents on-peak.
Those residential customers and non-residential customers on tiered pricing, or who wish to switch to tiered pricing, will pay 12.6 cents per kilowatt hour for the first 1,000 kWh per month, and 14.6 cents per kilowatt hour above that threshold.
After accounting for the bill relief provided by the Ontario Electricity Rebate, which will increase from 31.8 per cent to 33.2 per cent, the Ontario Energy Board says the total bill for a typical residential customer is expected to increase by just under two per cent.
If it weren't for the goal of offsetting the impact of COVID-19 on household budgets, the OEB says customers would have been asked to pay another 1.6 per cent in order to fully recover the cost of supplying power.
The board says it is going to spread the recovery period out over two years instead of the usual one year.