Ontario Energy Board sets new electricity prices for households and small businesses

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The winter Time-of-Use (TOU) hours and the winter Tier threshold for residential customers, which were maintained for the summer 2020 period, will remain in effect on November 1.

The total bill for a typical residential customer who uses 700 kWh per month will increase by about $2.24 or 1.97%, after accounting for the bill relief provided by the Ontario Electricity Rebate (OER), a total (pre-tax) bill credit that appears at the bottom of electricity bills. The Ontario government has increased that rebate from 31.8% to 33.2% effective November 1, 2020.

The new TOU prices set by the OEB for November 1, 2020 are shown in the chart below. The chart also shows the hours to which those prices apply:Time of use rates showing off peak 10.5, mid peak 15.0 and on peak 21.7 (not including OER rebate)

The chart below shows the new prices for customers paying Tiered prices. Customers now have the option to opt-out of TOU prices, into Tiered Prices.

Tiered rates showing residential up to 1000 kWh 12.6, over 1000 kwh 14.6. Small business up to 750 kwh 12.6, above 750 kwh 14.6

Learn how to opt out of Time-of-Use rates

The total bill impact for individual customers across the province may vary depending on the customer’s electricity usage and the utility that serves them.

The OEB last set RPP prices in November 2019. The OEB is required by law to set RPP prices at least once every 12 months, and to set those prices to reflect the expected cost of supplying RPP customers. The increase in prices reflects a combination of factors, including those associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, that have affected demand, supply costs and prices in the summer and fall of 2020. When setting RPP prices, the OEB typically includes an amount to recover the entire difference between what RPP customers have paid for electricity since prices were last set and what the actual supply cost was over the same period. Given the impact on customers and ongoing uncertainty relating to COVID-19, the OEB decided that the difference should be recovered over a longer, two-year period. If the difference was recovered over one year, the electricity costs recovered through RPP prices would have been roughly 1.6% higher.

There are a number of programs in place to support electricity customers at this time, including:

  • The OER, introduced in November 2019 by the Government of Ontario, provides a rebate on the pre-tax amount of the total bill.
  • Support for residential, small business and charitable organization customers that are struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of the pandemic is available through the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program and COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business funded by the Government of Ontario.
  • There are also a number of programs available to help low-income consumers. Find out more at oeb.ca/billhelp
  • In addition, the OEB has called on electricity distributors to focus efforts on promoting solutions for customers that have arrears and increasing awareness of support that may be available to customers.

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