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Ontario hydro rates switching to off-peak for 45 days

Ontario Premier Doug Ford (Ontario.ca Photo)

Off-peak rate will be applied to bills automatically, says Premier Ford

TORONTO – Ontario’s hydro customers will be receiving immediate relief on their bills.

Premier Doug Ford announced on Tuesday afternoon that the province is suspending time-of-use electricity rates for 45 days. Hydro customers, including homeowners, farms and small businesses, will be charged the off-peak rate of 10.1 cents per kilowatt hour.

Time-of-use customers will see their bills drop considerably as a result. As of November 2019, the on-peak rate is 20.8 cents per kilowatt hour and the mid-peak rate is 14.4 cents per kilowatt hour.

Ford also stated that there will be no application process to receive the reduced rate as the new rate will be automatically applied to bills.

“During this unprecedented time, we are providing much-needed relief to Ontarians, specifically helping those who are doing the right thing by staying home and small businesses that have closed or are seeing fewer customers,” said Ford. “By adopting a fixed, 24/7 off-peak rate, we are making things a little easier during these difficult times and putting more money in people’s pockets for other important priorities and necessities.”

Depending on billing cycles, the province says some customers will see these changes on their next electricity bill. Time-of-use customers whose billing cycle ended before their local distribution company implemented the new rate will receive the reduced rate as a credit on a future bill.

Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines Greg Rickford said that Ontario is fortunate to have a strong electricity system in these trying times.

“Our government is proud to provide additional relief to Ontarians who are doing their part to stay home,” said Rickford.

The province also stated that the Ontario Energy Board has extended the winter disconnection ban from April 30 to July 31. This means that customers cannot have their hydro disconnected for failing to pay a bill until the end of July.