News Post

FAQ – Fixed 8.5 ¢/kWh TOU & Tiered Pricing.

Government of Ontario announces reduction in TOU & Tiered rates for Residential and Small Commercial customers during COVID-19 Lockdown
New Electricity Pricing Effective for all consumption from January 1, 2021 to January 28, 2021.
 
UPDATE:

The Ontario government announced the Lockdown of the province to protect the province's health care system. The province announced it is lowering electricity prices to a discounted off-peak price of 8.5¢/kWh for all time-of-use and tiered customers.

This lower rate will be available 24 hours per day, seven days a week for a 28-day period starting January 1, 2021. The price change will happen automatically. No customer action is required.

Financial Assistance:

The province is also making it easier for families and businesses to get the support they need to help pay their energy bills through the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP). Any residential, small business, or registered charity customer with an overdue electricity bill will now be eligible to apply. A residential customer can receive up to $750 to help cover their electricity bill. Small businesses can receive up to $1,500 to help cover their electricity bill. Newly eligible customers can apply for these enhanced benefits with Milton Hydro starting in January 2021.   As more details become available, Milton Hydro will keep you posted.
 
Questions & Answers

Q1. Which customers does this affect?
 
Residential, small business and farm customers that buy their electricity from their utility and are on Time-of-Use (TOU) or Tiered pricing (RPP – Regulated Price Plan) will pay the fixed 8.5 ¢/kWh price for all hours of the day, every day of the week. The fixed 8.5¢/kWh price is equal to the off-peak price recently announced by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) effective for January 1, 2021.
 
Q2. Which customers are not affected by this change?
 
Customers who purchase their electricity under contract from an energy retailer will continue to pay the price agreed to in the contract. The OEB does not set these prices.

The fixed 8.5 ¢/kWh price also does not apply to customers that have opted in favour of market-based pricing.
 
Q3. Will customers who purchase energy from retailers or customers who have opted in favour of market-based pricing see any savings in 2021?

Yes, the government have recently announced that starting January 1, 2021 these customers, who are non-RPP Class B customers, will also see savings on their bills through reductions to the Global Adjustment (GA).
Starting January 1, 2021, a portion of renewable energy contract costs will be funded by the Ontario government instead of electricity customers. This will lower electricity bills for customers who do not participate in the Regulated Price Plan (RPP) or receive the Ontario Electricity Rebate (OER) by reducing GA costs.
Non-RPP Class B customers could see savings of about 16 per cent on their bills in relation to the GA costs, before the recovery of the deferred GA amount. Actual savings will vary depending on customers’ location and electricity consumption.
 
In 2020, the province of Ontario deferred a portion of the GA between April and June 2020 by limiting the Class B GA rate to $115/MWh for non-RPP customers. On December 23, 2020 the Ontario Energy Board announced that the deferred GA costs will be recovered over a 12-month period beginning in January 2021.
 
In 2021, electricity distributors are required to combine the lower GA costs will the GA deferral recovery amounts on non-RPP Class B customers bills. Customers could see net savings of about 12% starting January 2021.


Q4. I am a customer of a USMP. Will the fixed 8.5 ¢/kWh price apply to me?

Customers of Unit Sub-metering (USMPs) that are in a building that buys electricity from its utility and pays TOU or Tiered prices will also benefit from the fixed 8.5 ¢/kWh price.
 
Q5. What happens after January 28, 2021?
 
When the fixed 8.5 ¢/kWh price expires at the end of the day on January 28, 2021, customers will start to pay the TOU prices or Tiered prices that were set by the OEB on December 15, 2020.
 
Customers do still have the option to switch from TOU pricing to Tiered pricing, but the fixed 8.5 ¢/kWh price will be in place until the end of the day on January 28, 2021.
 
Q6. Why is this price relief only in place until January 28, 2021?

The government has chosen the 28-day period to align with other supports that the government has put in place for Ontarians staying at home during the provincewide lockdown announced on December 21, 2020.
 
Q7. How much will customers save with this change?
 
Because each customer consumes electricity differently, the bill impact of the fixed 8.5 ¢/kWh price will vary. Note:  effective January 1, 2021, the Ontario Energy Rebate was reduced consistent with the reduction to the TOU prices and Tiered prices to 21.2% from the previous rebate of 33.2%.
 
Q8. When will this price change appear on my bill?
 

For many customers, their next bill after January 1, 2021 will show this new pricing. Some customers may receive a bill before their utility or USMP has been able to implement the pricing change.
 
The timing of your monthly electricity bill might mean that you won’t see the change on your bill right away. In that case, you will get a credit on a future bill.
 
For many customers, the first bill after January 1, 2021 will have more than the usual number of line items on the “Electricity” portion of their bill. These line items are necessary to reflect the different prices that are in effect at different times: (i) the current RPP prices that are in effect until December 31, 2020; (ii) the fixed 8.5 ¢/kWh price that will be in effect from January 1, 2021 until the end of the day on January 28, 2021; and (iii) the RPP prices that will be in effect starting on January 29, 2021, as set by the OEB on December 15, 2020. See price table below.
 
rateTablejan28.jpg
 
 
Q9. How much is the government spending on this initiative?
 
The Ontario Government has indicated that it plans to cover the financial impact of the price change through provincial revenues. That financial impact will therefore not be recovered from ratepayers on future electricity bills.

Q10. How is the Ontario government expanding the CEAP program.

The province is also making it easier for families and businesses to get the support they need to help pay their energy bills through the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP). Any residential, small business, or registered charity customer with an overdue electricity bill will now be eligible to apply. A residential customer can receive up to $750 to help cover their electricity bill. Small businesses can receive up to $1,500 to help cover their electricity bill. Newly eligible customers can apply for these enhanced benefits with Milton Hydro starting in January 2021.

Q11.  What are you doing for customers who may be struggling to pay their electricity bill during this time?

We know that this continues to be a challenging time and we wish to support our customers and the communities we serve. Our customer service team is here to help. Here is what we’ve put in place until further notice:

  • If you think you may have challenges paying your bill, please call our customer service team at 905-876-4611 so we can discuss flexible bill payment options.
  • Besides the CEAP financial assistance program, other Electricity Support Programs are available to customers that may need help managing electricity costs:
    • The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP), which provides emergency financial relief to eligible low-income customers. Call our delivery agent, The Salvation Army, at 905-875-1022
    • Halton Region Energy Funds (Assistance with Hydro Arrears) call 905-825-6000 or dial 311;
    • The Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP), which enables eligible low-income customers to receive a fixed monthly credit on their electricity bills. Call 1-855-831-8151
    • COVID-19 Business Support Grants
      • In November the Ontario government announced $300 million in support for small businesses that were required to shut down or restrict services due to provincial public health measures.
      • The rebate will fully offset electricity. There is no cap on the rebate received. Bills must be dated after the region moved into the Red-Control or Grey-Lockdown restrictions.
      • Businesses can apply for grants online at www.ontario.ca/page/businesses-get-help-covid-19-costs or call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.

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