Electricity prices set to increase across Ontario Nov. 1 after pricing change

Hydro One power lines during sunset in Kingston, Ont.
Hydro One power lines during sunset in Kingston, Ont. Lars Hagberg / The Canadian Press

TORONTO — The cost of electricity is set to increase across the province, after the Ontario Energy Board announced new pricing changes on Thursday.

The OEB said in a release that the new prices will affect most households and small business for the duration of winter from Nov. 1 to April 30, and the peak hours for electricity use will also change.

Under the new rules, off-peak hours will increase 0.3 cents to 8.3 cents per kWh, mid-peak hours will increase 0.6 cents to 12.8 cents per kWh and on-peak hours will increase 1.4 cents to 17.5 cents per kWh.

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Off-peak hours are on weekdays from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., in addition to all day weekends and holidays, while mid-peak hours refer to weekdays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on-peak 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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For the average household in Ontario, which the OEB classified at about 800 kWh per month, electricity pricing increases would mean a bill increase of about $4.42 per month on the “Electricity Line” and about 3.4 per cent on the total bill.

The OEB said that increases to electricity bills are a direct result of increased costs to Ontario Power Generation’s nuclear and hydro power plants, which make about 40 per cent of the price increases.

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Renewable energy generation sources are another reason Ontario electricity bills will climb higher, amounting to about a third of the cost increase.

The OEB said that off-peak hours will remain about half that of on-peak prices, meaning customers who shift their electricity use to evenings and weekends will save nine cents per kWh.

The typical home in Ontario uses about two-thirds of its power during off-peak hours, which have seen the smallest price increase.

Electricity prices are reviewed twice a year by the OEB based on updated cost forecasts, as a way of recovering the actual cost of electricity.