(WINDSOR, ON) – The Ontario Energy Board has announced that it has agreed to reduce hydro rates on May 1. The reduction will be for households and small businesses which currently buy their electricity from their local utility.
This price adjustment, says the OEB, will benefit more than 90% of the electricity customers in Ontario.
The move is part of the OEB’s practice of reviewing hydro rates every six months. At these twice-yearly reviews, the Board estimates how much it will cost to supply electricity to residential and small business customers on, what is known as, the Regulated Price Plan (RPP). It then sets an appropriate rate.
Starting May 1, the total bill for a typical residential customer, who uses 750 kWh per month, will be about $127, which is approximately $26 or 17% lower than previously. However, the OEB says its rate mitigation includes the 8% rebate, equivalent to the provincial portion of the HST.
This reduction has been in place since January 1 and would mean the actual reduction the OEB is announcing is, in reality, 9% in addition to the 8%.
The Board says it will also remove the charge which funds the cost of the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP). However, the OESP will continue to be available to help eligible low-income customers reduce their electricity bills, but will not be paid by hydro users.
In its announcement, the OEB did not reveal how the 17% reduction, including the 8% reduction already in place, will add up to the 25% reduction promised by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. The OEB says its announced reduction will, “… take into account a portion of the bill reduction announced in the proposed Fair Hydro Plan.”
The OEB has yet to announce its decisions on rate increases now being requested by a number of electrical distributors across the province, including ELK and Hydro One which serve different parts of Essex County.