Temporary 45-day emergency relief becoming effective March 24
March 24, 2020
The Government of Ontario is providing temporary 45-day emergency relief to support Ontarians impacted by the global COVID-19 outbreak. As of Tuesday, March 24, 2020, households, farms and small businesses who pay time-of-use electricity rates will be charged off-peak rates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Qs and As
Q1. What is being done to support households and businesses with increased electricity usage during this COVID-19 outbreak?
For electricity consumed starting at 12:00 a.m. EST on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, households, farms and small businesses paying TOU electricity rates will be charged the lowest price, known as the off-peak electricity rate, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Q2. How is this being implemented? Do ratepayers need to take any action in order to receive the off-peak pricing?
No action is required by electricity consumers: this change will be applied automatically for everyone paying time-of-use rates, for electricity consumed starting at 12:00 a.m. EST on March 24, 2020.
Depending on billing cycles, some ratepayers will see these changes on their next electricity bill.
In cases where a ratepayer’s billing cycle ends before their local distribution company implements this change, they will receive the reduced rate as a credit on a future bill.
Q3. How will this appear on bills?
Ratepayers will automatically see the lower rate reflected on electricity bills in the next billing cycle. The off-peak rate will be shown as the rate for all three TOU periods.
Q4. How long will this be in place?
It is the government’s intention that off-peak pricing for TOU customers will be in effect for 45 days.
Q5. How much will RPP customers save with this change?
The estimated impact on the average monthly residential bill is $16.13, or $24.20 over the 45-day period, but will depend on a customer’s total consumption and consumption behaviours.
The estimated impact on the average monthly small business bill, for RPP customers with a monthly consumption of 10,000 kWh could see a reduction of $308 on a monthly bill or $462 over the 45-day period.
Q6. Will tiered rate customers also be receiving the lower rate?
To quickly implement the pricing change so that it applies during the emergency response period, all TOU customers (including residential, farms and small businesses) would receive the pricing change. These are the customers that see the greatest increase in cost due to being home during the day.
Most Regulated Price Plan (RPP) consumers pay TOU prices, the rest of RPP customers pay tiered prices. There are approximately 5 million residential consumers, farms and some small businesses billed TOU electricity prices under the RPP.
This pricing change would not apply to RPP customers who pay tiered rates It would also not apply to consumers who have opted out of RPP to sign a contract with an electricity retailer.