Hydro rate reduction takes effect May 1


Beginning next month, households and small business owners will see their electricity bills drop by 17 per cent.

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) announcemed on Thursday that new rates will come into effect on May 1 and will include the eight per cent rebate that has been in effect since January, the removal of the charge that funds the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) and a portion of bill reduction that was announced in the provincial government’s Ontario Fair Hydro Plan. The OESP will still be available to eligible low-income electricity users.

The rate reduction comes into effect earlier than expected. The government had previously announced rates would be cut by 17 per cent starting this summer.  According to the OEB, the typical residential customer can expect a monthly electricity bill of $127, a decrease of $26

Starting May 1, the off-peak price for electricity will be 7.7 cents per kilowatt hour, the mid-peak price will be 11.3 cents and the on-peak price will be 15.7 cents.

“This is an important first step to deliver on our government’s commitment to lower rates by 25 per cent on average by this summer,” Ontario Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault said in a statement. “Rates will also be held to inflation for the next four years. This is the largest rate cut in Ontario history.”

The Liberal government has yet to introduce legislation that would lower rates again this summer. The government has taken criticism for spending taxpayer dollars to run an advertising campaign to promote the rate reduction plan, despite the fact that the proposal has not been passed in the legislature.