Energy bills for the typical Ontario home are going up by about two per cent with fixed pricing coming to an end on Nov. 1, the Ontario Energy Board says.
The province’s electricity regulator has released new time-of-use pricing and says the rate for the average residential customer using 700 kWh per month will increase by about $2.24.
The change comes as Ontario stretches into its eight month of the COVID-19 pandemic with new case counts reaching levels higher than ever seen before.
Time-of-use pricing had been scrapped for residential bills for much for the pandemic with a single price set for all hours of the day. The move, which came into effect June 1, was meant “to support families, small business and farms while Ontario plans for the safe and gradual reopening of the province,” the OEB said at the time.
Fixed pricing meant customers’ bills reflected how much power they used, rather than when they used it. Customers were charged 12.8 cents/kWh er no matter their time of use.
Beginning November, the province says customers can choose between time-of-use and tiered pricing. Rates for time-of-use plans will be 21.7 cents/kWh during peak hours, 15 cents/kWh for mid-peak use and 10.5 cents/kWh for off-peak use.
Customers choosing tiered pricing will pay 12.6 cents/kWh for the first 1000 kWh each month and then 14.6 cents/kWh for any power used beyond that.
The energy board says the increase in pricing reflects “a combination of factors, including those associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, that have affected demand, supply costs and prices in the summer and fall of 2020.”
Asked for his reaction to the move Tuesday, Premier Doug Ford said, “I hate it,” adding the province inherited an energy “mess” from the previous Liberal government and are “chipping away at it.”