The recent approval of Ontario Hydro’s increase in rates, which took effect on May 1, will cause an inevitable spike in energy bills for everyone in the GTA. According to the Ontario Energy Board, electricity rates will see an increase of 0.6 cents per kilowatt hour, raising it to 13.5 cents during peak time periods for usage. The rates will see a hike of 0.3 cents for off-peak and mid-peak time frames, raising the fee to 7.5 cents and 11.2 cents for these hours. Weekdays from 11 am to 5 pm are the peak hours for power consumption while mid-peak timing occurs between 7 am and 11 am, 5 pm to 7 pm on weekdays, while all other periods are considered off-peak.
The Ontario Energy Board has released a series of charts detailing the track record for energy consumption and its correlated pricing over the past 8 years. According to their website, this change in fees has the potential to affect energy consumption habits for the better:
“Time-of-use pricing better reflects the true cost of power. That’s because you are charged more for electricity when it is more expensive to produce. As a result, time-of-use encourages you to use power when rates are cheapest – during off-peak hours. For example, you may now choose to run your dishwasher or do laundry after 7 p.m. Changing your behaviour this way helps you by lowering your bills, helps the environment by causing less greenhouse gas emissions, and helps Ontario’s electricity grid by easing pressure during high-demand hours.”
Prices are reviewed every six months, and may change based on updated forecasts from the Ontario Energy Board, with these new rates affecting both small businesses and homes. For the summer months of May to October, the price threshold will hover around 600 kWh per month and reach about 1,000 kWh for the winter months.
So how will the recent price hike affect your monthly bill? The average Ontario house will end up paying about $2.83 more per month.
What do you think of the recent hike in energy prices for Ontarians? Will you change your behaviour to reduce costs and lower the strain on the environment? Does the change in fees affect how you consider your day-to-day use of electricity?