Ontario hydro rates to rise 42% in 5 years

(QMI Agency Files)

(QMI Agency Files)

Antonella Artuso, Queen's Park Bureau Chief

, Last Updated: 3:06 PM ET

TORONTO — Ontario hydro bills are headed up, up, up.

A new Long-Term Energy Plan says the average monthly residential bill of $125 will rise to $178 within five years, a 42% hike.

Hydro bills are expected to dip slightly in 2019 to $177 a month, and then rise again until 2022 when they’ll hit $193 a month. A second price decrease is forecast for 2023-24 and then the trend for prices is onward and upward for the foreseeable future.

A decision to defer or cancel new nuclear construction, coupled with a few other initiatives to contain costs, shaved $13 off what the monthly bill would have been in 2018 if the Ontario government had implemented its previous Long-Term Energy Plan.

The new plan will save hydro ratepayers $3,800 between 2013-2030, the government says.

Premier Kathleen Wynne said she’ll consider income testing for the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit, which currently takes 10% off the top of all hydro bills, and that could decrease some people’s bills past 2015.

The benefit is currently on track to end by 2016.

The plan confirms that Ontario won’t build new nuclear reactors but will refurbish the Bruce and Darlington generating stations starting in 2016.