Ontario provides electricity relief to farms during COVID-19
March 25, 2020 By Government of Ontario (edited)
Electricity rates in Ontario will be held at the off-peak rate of 10.1 cents-per-kilowatt-hour for the next 45 days, providing immediate electricity rate relief for families, small businesses and farms paying time-of-use (TOU) rates.
Announced by the Government of Ontario, this reduced price will be available 24 hours per day, seven days a week to all time-of-use customers, who make up the majority of electricity consumers in the province. By switching to a fixed off-peak rate, time-of-use customers will see rate reductions of over 50 per cent compared to on-peak rates.
To deliver savings as quickly and conveniently as possible, this discount will be applied automatically to electricity bills without the need for customers to fill out an application form. This affects approximately five million residential consumers, farms and some small businesses billed using time-of-use (TOU) electricity prices under the RPP.
“During this unprecedented time, we are providing much-needed relief to Ontarians, specifically helping those who are doing the right thing by staying home and small businesses that have closed or are seeing fewer customers,” said Premier Doug Ford. “By adopting a fixed, 24/7 off-peak rate, we are making things a little easier during these difficult times and putting more money in people’s pockets for other important priorities and necessities.”
The Government of Ontario issued an Emergency Order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to apply the off-peak TOU electricity rate for residential, small businesses, and farm customers who currently pay TOU rates.
“Ontario is fortunate to have a strong electricity system we can rely on during these exceptional times, and our government is proud to provide additional relief to Ontarians who are doing their part to stay home,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines.
“We thank the Ontario Energy Board and our partners at local distribution companies across the province for taking quick action to make this change and provide immediate support for hardworking people of Ontario,” said Bill Walker, Associate Minister of Energy.
For comparison, time-of-use prices as of November, 2019 were 10.1₵/kWh off-peak, 14.4₵/kWh mid-peak, and 20.8₵/kWh on-peak.
Depending on billing cycles, some customers will see these changes on their next electricity bill. TOU customers whose billing cycle ended before their local distribution company implemented this change will receive the reduced rate as a credit on a future bill.
The Ontario Electricity Rebate (OER) will continue to provide a 31.8 per cent rebate on the sub-total bill amount for all existing Regulated Price Plan (RPP) consumers.
The Ontario Energy Board has also extended the winter ban on disconnections to July 31st.
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