ontario hydro rates

Hydro bills are about to get cheaper across Ontario to account for the lockdown

As was the case during the first lockdown in the spring, the provincial government has decided to make hydro bills more affordable for people in Ontario now that residents are once again being asked to stay home as much as possible.

Premier Doug Ford and his team announced a stringent blanket shutdown for all regions of the province on Monday, which means more people will be using more of their electricity amid a season where hydro bills can be substantially higher than other times of the year.

"As we enter a provincewide shutdown, our government is ensuring that all households have stable and predictable electricity bills when they need it most," Ontario Minister of Energy Greg Rickford said in a statement about the move.

"Staying home means using more electricity, especially during the day when electricity prices are usually higher."

The province will lower all hydro rates to the less expensive off-peak price of 8.5 cents per kilowatt hour for all customers, regardless of the time that power is used, for the next four weeks starting on Jan. 1.

There are also benefit programs like the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program and relief for households with students learning at home to help subsidize hydro bills for eligible residents.

Starting at 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 26, all non-essential businesses in the north of the province will cease in-person services as they commence their 14 days in extreme lockdown.

Those in the south of the province — including in Toronto and Peel, who have already been subject to the most severe form of the province's pandemic restrictions for over a month — will face lockdown for at least another 28 days.

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