The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) today announced a number of pilot projects that will explore different ways of giving residential customers greater choice in the price they pay for electricity at different times, and more tools to help them better understand and manage their electricity use.
The OEB has selected Alectra Utilities, London Hydro and Oshawa PUC Networks Inc. to run these pilots, which are part of the OEB’s on-going review of the Regulated Price Plan (RPP) under which it sets prices that apply to more than 90% of the province’s electricity customers.
The Chair of the OEB, Rosemarie Leclair, says “These projects will allow the real-world experience of an expected 18,000 customers to inform how electricity is priced for RPP customers in the future, unlocking more value for them and the electricity system as a whole in the process.”
“Customers want more choice in how they pay for electricity,” says Ceiran Bishop, manager of strategic policy for the OEB. “The pilots will help us in our redesign of RPP prices, so they can better match customers’ preferences and give them greater control over their electricity costs while also helping to improve system efficiency.”
The OEB-approved pilots will test several alternatives to the current approach to time-of-use (TOU) pricing, such as one of the pricing plans that Alectra is testing. It retains the current TOU periods but has a larger difference between off- and on-peak prices. This will test how customers respond to an enriched incentive to shift consumption into lower-priced periods. Customers who wish to opt out of any of the pilots can do so at any time.
Details of the pilots being run by Alectra Utilities will be available tomorrow morning in Barrie from the Minister of Energy Glenn Thibeault and the President & CEO of Alectra Utilities, Brian Bentz.