2013 electricity distribution rate applications

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As part of its regulation of electricity distributors, the Ontario Energy Board established a multi-year electricity distribution rate setting plan which indicated that, commencing with 2008 rates, a limited number of distributors would be identified each year to file a future test year cost of service application based on Chapter 2 of the Board’s Filing Requirements, re-issued June 22, 2011. The plan would run for four years enabling each rate regulated distributor in the province to rebase its rates once during the four year plan.

For any of the other distributors seeking approval to change their distribution rates, distributors would file a mechanistic, formulaic update to their current rates based on the Board’s incentive regulation mechanism (IRM).

On January 26, 2012 the Board issued a letter identifying the list of electricity distributors that are expected to file a cost of service application in respect of their 2013 rates. The letter indicated that any distributor that is on the list and that believes that its next cost of service application should be deferred beyond the 2013 rate year must notify the Board in writing as soon as possible and in any event no later than March 1, 2012. 

The January 26, 2012 letter also indicated that a distributor that proposes to file a cost of service application for 2013 rates, and that is not on the list attached to the January 26 letter must so notify the Board in writing as soon as possible, and in any event no later than March 1, 2012.  The Board noted that in keeping with the Board’s approach as set out in its April 20, 2010 letter, a distributor that seeks to have its rates rebased earlier than scheduled must justify, in its cost of service application, why early rebasing is required and why and how the distributor cannot adequately manage its resources and financial needs during the remainder of the 3rd generation IR plan term.

It is anticipated that the following distributors will file cost of service applications for the 2013 rate year:

  • Bluewater Power Distribution Corporation
  • Brantford Power Inc.
  • Canadian Niagara Power Inc. - Fort Erie, Port Colborne & Eastern Ontario Power 
  • Centre Wellington Hydro Ltd.
  • COLLUS Power Corporation
  • Enersource Hydro Mississauga Inc.
  • Fort Frances Power Corp.
  • Greater Sudbury Hydro Inc.
  • Hydro One Remote Communities Inc.
  • Innisfil Hydro Distribution Systems Limited
  • Lakeland Power Distribution Ltd.
  • London Hydro Inc.
  • Midland Power Utility Corporation
  • Northern Ontario Wires Inc.
  • Peterborough Distribution Inc.
  • PowerStream Inc.
  • P.U.C. Distribution Inc.
  • Sioux Lookout Hydro Inc.
  • Thunder Bay Hydro Electricity Distribution Inc.
  • Tillsonburg Hydro Inc.
  • Welland Hydro-Electric System Corp.
  • West Coast Huron Energy Inc.
  • Westario Power Inc.

The following table identifies all 77 rate regulated electricity distributors in Ontario.  The table contains links to select documents of a distributor’s rate application. These documents include:

  • Key correspondence regarding the status of an application, including requests to change from COS to IRM or vice versa;
  • The Notice of Application ("NoA") issued by the Board and to be published by the distributor. The purpose of the Notice is to inform the affected ratepayers and other stakeholders of the application, its nature and the impact on affected customers; and
  • The Decision issued by the Board when it has adjudicated on the application and the subsequent Rate Order that reflects the Decision in the Tariff of Rates and Charges.
Related information

2013 Electricity Distribution Rates Backgrounder (pdf)

Estimated Total Bill Impacts (pdf) (For those utilities whose Rate Orders have not yet been issued, no information is supplied in the bill impact chart. The chart will be updated as Rate Orders are released)

 

Application documents

This table provides a list of select documents related to each application. To view all publicly available documents for the application, click the case number associated with that particular distributor.

 

Associated decisions

Date

Issue / Document

Mar 21-13

Wholesale Market Service Rate and RRRP Decision

 

Updates

Date

Issue / Document

Mar 21-13

The Board has announced the price escalator (or inflation index) for the 3rd Generation Incentive Regulation mechanisms for adjusting electricity distribution rates effective May 1, 2013.

Consistent with the Board’s findings in its July 14, 2008, Report of the Board on 3rd Generation Incentive Regulation for Ontario’s Electricity Distributors (pdf), the Board will use the annual percent change in the Implicit Price Index for National Gross Domestic Product (GDP-IPI) for Final Domestic Demand.

 

In Chapter 3 of the Filing Requirements for Transmission and Distribution Applications (pdf), revised June 28, 2012, the Board stated that:

For rates effective January 1, 2013, the GDP-IPI will be the annual percentage change in the GDP-IPI for the period 2011 Q3 to 2012 Q2 to 2010 Q3 to 2011 Q2. For rates effective May 1, 2013, the GDP-IPI will be the annual percentage change for calendar year 2012. (pg. 5)

 

On March 1, 2013, Statistics Canada published statistical data for the National Economic Accounts for 2012 (click for Statistics Canada reference (1)). The percent change is 1.6%, calculated as the percentage change in the GDP-IPI for the 4-quarter period from 2012 Q1 to 2012 Q4 relative to the preceding 4-quarter period from 2011 Q1 to 2011 Q4, as shown in this table.

 

 

The Board will adjust the price escalator in each distributor’s 2013 Incentive Regulation Mechanism model such that this change is reflected in distribution rates effective May 1, 2013.

Feb 14-13

The Board has issued a letter which sets out the Cost of Capital Parameter Updates for Cost of Service Applications effective May 1, 2013.

Nov 15-12

The Board has issued a letter which sets out the Cost of Capital Parameter Updates for Cost of Service Applications effective January 1, 2013.

Oct 12-12

The Board has posted an update to the draft 2013 COS Application Checklist.  The update was made to line 80 of the spreadsheet.

Oct 4-12

The Board has announced the price escalator (or inflation index) for the 3rd Generation Incentive Regulation mechanisms for adjusting electricity distribution rates effective January 1, 2013.

 

Consistent with the Board’s findings in its July 14, 2008, Report of the Board on 3rd Generation Incentive Regulation for Ontario’s Electricity Distributors (pdf), the Board will use the annual percent change in the Implicit Price Index for National Gross Domestic Product (GDP-IPI) for Final Domestic Demand.

 

In Chapter 3 of the Filing Requirements for Transmission and Distribution Applications (pdf), revised June 28, 2012, the Board stated that:

For rates effective January 1, 2013, the GDP-IPI will be the annual percentage change in the GDP-IPI for the period 2011 Q3 to 2012 Q2 to 2010 Q3 to 2011 Q2. For rates effective May 1, 2013, the GDP-IPI will be the annual percentage change for calendar year 2012. (pg. 5)

 

On August 31, 2012, Statistics Canada published statistical data for the National Economic Accounts for 2012 Q2 (click for Statistics Canada reference). The percent change is 2.2%, calculated as the percentage change in the GDP-IPI for the 4-quarter period from 2011 Q3 to 2012 Q2 relative to the preceding 4-quarter period from 2010 Q3 to 2011 Q2, as shown in this table.

 

 

The Board will adjust the price escalator in each distributor’s 2013 Incentive Regulation Mechanism model such that this change is reflected in distribution rates effective January 1, 2013.

 

For distribution rates effective May 1, 2013, the Board will continue to use the year over year change in the GDP-IPI. The 2012 annual statistics are scheduled to be published by Statistics Canada by the beginning of March 2013, and the Board will convey the annual change shortly thereafter.

Oct 1-12

As previously announced, the Board has been reviewing its application process to identify opportunities to enhance efficiency and cost effectiveness, and to improve the record upon which the Board makes decisions.  To assist with this, the Board has today posted a draft checklist for Chapter 2 of the Filing Requirements for Transmission and Distribution Applications which may be helpful to distributors as they prepare their cost of service applications.  
 
The quality of the information provided in an application has a direct impact on the efficiency of the review process, and the Board’s ability to adjudicate effectively. As set out in Chapter 1 of the Filing Requirements, the Board expects applications to be accurate, complete and internally consistent.  If an application is incomplete or deficient then the Board may decline to process it until the deficiencies have been addressed. The checklist which has been posted is drawn directly from the Board’s Filing Requirements and has been developed as a tool to be used by the Board as part of its assessment as to whether or not an application is complete.

  • 2013 COS Application Checklist (revised Oct 12-12)

Sep 20-12

The Board has determined that electricity distributors shall reflect the updated province-wide fixed monthly charge related to the microFIT Generator Service Classification to $5.40 per month in their 2013 rate applications.

Jul 27-12

The Board has posted the 2013 Incremental Capital Model (ICM) and associated capital project worksheets (versions 1.0).

Jul 26-12

The Board has issued a letter assigning electricity distributors that are scheduled to file a 2013 Incentive Regulation Mechanism distribution rate application to the six application groupings.

Jul 24-12

The Board's Regulatory Audit & Accounting unit conducted a Webinar on Thursday July 19, 2012 related to modified International Financial Reporting Standards (“Modified IFRS” or “MIFRS”) with respect to MIFRS appendices in Chapter 2 of the Filing Requirements for Electricity Transmission and Distribution Applications.

Jul 24-12

The Board has issued an updated IRM Rate Generator Model (version 2.3) for IRM filers. 

The updates made to “Sheet 14. Bill Impacts” are as follows:

  1. Macro correction that ensures all current and proposed rates are pulled into Sheet 14.
  2. For General Service > 50 and other classes where more than one set of retail transmission rates exist (eg: interval, non-interval, etc), the retail transmission lines have been corrected to ensure that only one set of retail transmission rates are used for the calculation of bill impacts.

IRM Model:

Jul 18-12

The Board has issued an updated IRM Rate Generator Model (version 2.2) for IRM filers. The updates made to Sheet 14 are as follows:

  1. For General Service > 50 and other classes, the consumption value located in cell B23 has been corrected to uplift for the associated loss factor.
  2. For the Street Lighting and USL classes, cells B30 and B31 have been converted to input cells to accommodate the number of connections charged.
  3. Volumes for the Street Lighting class have been corrected to ensure that line items are billed on a kW basis and not on a kWh basis.

IRM Model:

  • 2013 IRM Rate Generator - version 2.2 (.xlsm) - see version updated July 24-12

 

Jul 17-12

On July 9, 2012, staff at the Ontario Energy Board presented a one day orientation session for electricity distributors in Ontario that are scheduled to rebase for 2013 rates.

The session provided an overview of the recent updates to the cost of service filing requirements, the smart meter and CDM guidelines, the distribution system planning filing requirements and the specific MIFRS requirements for 2013 filers transitioning to IFRS.  The session also introduced distributors to their case managers and other staff members, as well as provided an overview of the applications process, what happens at an oral hearing and some do’s and don’ts in preparing the applications.

 

Presentation material:

 

Jul 12-12

The Board has issued updates to the Chapter 2 Appendices of the Filing Requirements for Electricity Transmission and Distribution Applications.

Jun 28-12

The Board has issued updates to Chapters 1, 2 and 3 of the Filing Requirements for Electricity Transmission and Distribution Applications, as well as updates to the Retail Transmission Service Rates Guideline and a Survey for 2013 IRM Rate Applications.

Apr 12-12

The Board has issued a letter with an update to the Chapter 2 of the Filing Requirements issued on June 22, 2011 related to the working capital allowance.

Jan 26-12

The Board has issued a letter identifying the list of distributors that are expected to file a cost of service application in respect of their 2013 rates.

 

IRM Frequently asked questions

Question:
I filed our IRM rate application today, however, was unable to file the Excel models – I get an error saying invalid extension. What do I need to do?

Answer
See Saving Excel 2007 or higher documents in earlier version format.pdf