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.
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.
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.
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.