Ontario residents won't have to start paying new summer time-of-use hydro rates on May 7
Residents of Ontario won't have to start paying new summer time-of-use electricity prices come May 7 as was previously planned.
The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) released a notice this week advising customers that hydro prices would return to the November 2019 rates once the 45-day suspension of time of use — introduced by the provincial government on March 24 — ends May 7.
Under this pricing, the mid-peak rate will be 14.4 cents per kilowatt hour and the peak price will be 20.8 cents per kilowatt hour.
We know this is a difficult time for consumers. Time-of-use (TOU) prices will return to Nov 1, 2019 levels after May 7. We highlight that keeping winter TOU hours and Tiered thresholds provides some support to consumers who are home due to COVID-19. https://t.co/0uvKNHDuU8 1/3— Ontario Energy Board (@OntEnergyBoard) April 15, 2020
"The ongoing COVID-19 emergency has resulted in extraordinary uncertainty around various aspects of the supply cost and electricity demand estimates that underpin RPP prices," the notice states.
"This uncertainty casts significant doubt on the reliability of forecasting supply costs or RPP customer demand. The OEB has therefore decided to leave RPP prices at the levels at which they were set on November 1, 2019," it continues.
"Retaining the winter TOU price periods means that the mid-peak price, rather than the higher on-peak price, will apply weekday afternoons (11 a.m.-5 p.m.), which can be a time of high electricity use for those at home, especially in summer."
Last month, the government of Ontario issued an Emergency Order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act requiring that residential and small business customers on time-of-use pricing pay 10.1 ¢/kWh no matter what time of day the electricity is consumed.
"This means that TOU customers will be paying the off-peak price throughout the day as long as the Emergency Order remains in place. The Government has indicated that it intends to keep the 10.1 ¢/kWh pricing in place for 45 days," the OEB wrote last month.
Speaking at Queen's Park Wednesday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford made it abundantly clear that he does not agree with charging the November 2019 time-of-use rates, especially while the majority of the population is stuck at home all day long.
"I don't like that 'time of use' any time, not to mention when people are at home," he said.
"We will be sitting down with the president of the treasury board, the minister of finance and the minister for energy to come up with a solution — just stay tuned you’ll hear about that over next little while — but to be very blunt I am not in favour of that."
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