Ontario electricity rates to rise next month

(REUTERS FILE PHOTO)

(REUTERS FILE PHOTO)

Antonella Artuso, Queen's Park Bureau Chief

, Last Updated: 5:35 PM ET

TORONTO — Ontario hydro customers should prepare for a jolt.

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) announced Friday that it is increasing electricity rates as of May 1, just in time for the air conditioning season.

“The price change for consumers is an increase of approximately $3.63 on the “electricity” line, or about 2.9% on the total monthly bill, for a household with a typical consumption pattern that uses 800 kWh per month,” an OEB statement says.

Ontarians on time-of-use electricity pricing will switch over to the summer schedule on May 1.

The peak pricing period — weekdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. — will see a .6 cent increase to 12.4 cents kWh.

Mid-peak pricing which applies weekdays 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. will rise by half a cent to 10.4 cents kWh.

The cheapest time to use electricity will be on weekends, holidays and weekdays from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., at a rate of 6.7 cents kWh.

OEB says most Ontario households use 64% of their power at off-peak times.

Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli said in a statement that the rate hike is needed to pay for infrastructure investments for a reliable and clean energy system.

“We provide relief to ratepayers through various programs, including our 10% discount on hydro bills, the Clean Energy Benefit,” Chiarelli said.

Ontario PC Energy Critic Vic Fedeli called the hydro hike an assault on ratepayers’ wallets, fuelled by expensive subsidies paid to wind and solar producers.

antonella.artuso@sunmedia.ca


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