Pilot project gives Oshawa Power customers opportunity to test new electricity price plans and tools

A pilot project approved by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) is giving residential customers of Oshawa Power a chance to test alternative Time-of-Use (TOU) pricing plans and the impact that additional feedback can have in helping customers better manage their electricity use and costs.

Oshawa Power’s pilot project is one of several selected by the OEB to inform a redesign of the Regulated Price Plan (RPP), under which the OEB sets prices that apply to more than 90 per cent of the province’s electricity customers.

The one-year pilot will test how customers respond to simpler price plans that have two price periods rather than three for much of the year. It will also test whether the plans are effective at using price differences to focus consumers’ attention on managing how much electricity they use at peak times. Participants will be provided with tools such an advanced web portal, feedback and alerts, and an interactive smartphone app. These tools are customized for each participant, offering them information when they need it.

For more information about Oshawa Power’s pilot project and how to register, please contact cdm@opuc.on.ca or 905-723-4626 ext. 5346.

What This Means for Ontario Energy Consumers

  • TOU pricing, which has been fully implemented in Ontario since 2012, has had some success in encouraging residential consumers to shift their energy consumption at peak times, but research showed there are areas for improvement.
  • As a result, the OEB is now supporting pricing pilots with residential consumers to test ways to give them more control over their electricity costs while also helping improve system efficiency.  
  • Modified RPP pricing could have a positive impact on conservation and demand management. If RPP customers can dependably reduce or shift their usage out of peak demand periods, it could allow the province to avoid investments that might otherwise be needed.

“We are working to make it easier for customers to respond to price signals in ways that can also have benefits for the broader system. That’s one reason why we’re testing alternatives to the current Time-of-Use price plan. These pilots will give us real-world results that can inform the ways we can improve the Regulated Price Plan.” – Ceiran Bishop, manager of strategic policy at the OEB


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