COVID-19 - Off-peak electricity pricing in place

To support Ontarians through the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, the Government of Ontario issued an Emergency Order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to provide a measure of temporary emergency relief for electricity customers.

Below are some Frequently Asked Questions about the Emergency Order and who it applies to.

What relief is the government providing?
Starting on March 24, 2020, residential and small business customers and farms on time-of-use (TOU) pricing under the OEB’s Regulated Price Plan (RPP) will pay 10.1 ¢/kWh no matter what time of day the electricity is consumed. This means that these TOU customers will be paying the off-peak price throughout the day. The Government has indicated that it intends to keep the 10.1 ¢/kWh pricing in place for 45 days. 

The 10.1 ¢/kWh pricing applies automatically – no customer action is required. Some customers may receive a bill before their utility or unit sub-meter provider is able to implement the pricing change, in which case they will receive a credit on a future bill.
 
Which customers will receive the new pricing?
Households, small businesses and farms that buy their electricity from their utility and that are on TOU prices under the RPP will pay the 10.1 ¢/kWh off-peak price for all hours of the day, every day of the week.   

Customers of unit sub-meter providers that are in a building that pays TOU prices under the RPP will also benefit from the extension of the off-peak price to all hours of the day.

As explained below, the pricing change does not apply to RPP customers that pay tiered rates. The pricing change also does not apply to RPP customers that have opted out of the RPP in favour of market-based pricing or a contract with an electricity retailer.

Do customers have to take any action in order to receive the new pricing?
No action is required; the 10.1 ¢/kWh pricing applies automatically for electricity consumed starting at 12 a.m. ET on March 24, 2020.

How long will the new pricing be in effect?
The Government has stated that it intends for the new pricing to be in effect for 45 days.

How and when will the new pricing appear on bills?
The 10.1 ¢/kWh price will be shown as the price for all 3 of the TOU pricing periods that appear on the bill for electricity consumed on and after March 24, 2020. Although the bill will continue to refer to off-peak, mid-peak and on-peak, the price for all of them will be the same at 10.1 ¢/kWh.

For many customers, their next bill after March 24, 2020 will show the new pricing.  Some others may receive a bill before their utility or unit sub-meter provider has been able to implement the pricing change. In that case, the customer will get a credit on a future bill.

For many customers, the first bill after March 24, 2020 will have 6 line items – 3 line items at the TOU prices in effect until the end of the day on March 23, 2020 and 3 line items at the TOU price of 10.1 ¢/kWh for electricity consumed starting on March 24, 2020.

Does the new pricing apply to RPP customers on tiered prices?
The pricing change does not apply to RPP customers that pay tiered prices.  

Under tiered pricing, the price does not change depending on the time when the customer uses electricity. The price only changes to a higher rate when a customer uses more than 1,000 kWh per month.  

There are approximately 5 million RPP customers (households, small businesses and farms) on TOU pricing. The government has explained that in order to quickly implement the pricing change so that it applies during the emergency response period, all RPP customers paying TOU prices will receive the pricing change. These are the customers that see the greatest increase in cost due to being home during the day.   

Is the pricing change retroactive?
The 10.1 ¢/kWh pricing applies automatically for electricity consumed starting at 12 a.m. ET on March 24, 2020.

For many customers, their next bill after March 24, 2020 will show the new pricing.  Some others may receive a bill before their utility or unit sub-meter provider has been able to implement the pricing change. In that case, they will get a credit on a future bill.

 

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