ontario hydro rates

Ontario wants to make electricity super cheap but only at specific times

If you're a night owl, your electricity bill could soon get a whole lot cheaper thanks to a provincial plan to cut power use rates during overnight hours.

It was announced on Wednesday that Ontario's Energy Minister Todd Smith is working with the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to come up with a new ultra-low overnight Time-of-Use electricity price plan that would slash rates at night when power demand is at its lowest, translating to cheaper power bills.

It's a move targeted towards shift workers with vampire hours who have dealt with some of the most challenging conditions during the pandemic.

It also supports electric vehicle (EV) owners, who are helping to reduce vehicle emissions and primarily charge their vehicles overnight, with hopes the move would increase EV adoption in the province.

"Our government has reversed the trend of skyrocketing electricity prices and given families and businesses more control when it comes to their energy bills," said Todd Smith, Minister of Energy.

"Introduction of a new ultra-low overnight price plan that would benefit shift workers and support EV adoption is our next step as we focus on helping electricity customers save money and take more control of their energy bills," added Smith.

It's a provincial move that's seeing a warm reception at the provincial, municipal and even corporate level, with Hydro One, Toronto Hydro, GM Canada, and Ward 11 councillor Mike Layton all speaking out on Twitter in support of the change.

Layton sees even more potential in the lowering of overnight power rates, which could mean huge savings for residents who pay for their own heating, as the coldest winter temperatures are often experienced after nightfall.

It seems like a win for just about everyone, but even with many voicing support, not all are convinced that this was such an easy sell within the Ford government.

Other commenters were quick to point out that even with this proposed change in overnight rates, this is the same provincial government that increased energy rates and cut EV incentives. A solid counter to the canned quote from Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, which claims that the Ford government has "introduced significant initiatives to help Ontario families and businesses save money."

The requests sent by Minister Smith to the OEB are expected to result in a report this April, with plans to roll out the new price plan one year later, in April 2023.

Lead photo by

Jack Landau

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