Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Energy Minister Greg Rickford and Associate Energy Minister Bill Walker announced today that the province will lower electricity rates for at least 45 days to offset higher consumption as more people work from home or remain in self-isolation.
For a 45-day period, the government is working to suspend time-of-use electricity rates, holding electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 10.1 cents-per-kilowatt-hour. This reduced price will be available 24 hours per day, seven days a week to all time-of-use customers, who make up the majority of electricity consumers in the province. By switching to a fixed off-peak rate, time-of-use customers will see rate reductions of over 50 per cent compared to on-peak rates.
To deliver savings as quickly and conveniently as possible, this discount will be applied automatically to electricity bills without the need for customers to fill out an application form.
“During this unprecedented time, we are providing much-needed relief to Ontarians, specifically helping those who are doing the right thing by staying home and small businesses that have closed or are seeing fewer customers,” said Premier Doug Ford. “By adopting a fixed, 24/7 off-peak rate, we are making things a little easier during these difficult times and putting more money in people’s pockets for other important priorities and necessities.”
The Government of Ontario issued an Emergency Order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to apply the off-peak TOU electricity rate for residential, small businesses, and farm customers who currently pay TOU rates.
“Ontario is fortunate to have a strong electricity system we can rely on during these exceptional times, and our government is proud to provide additional relief to Ontarians who are doing their part to stay home,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines.
“We thank the Ontario Energy Board and our partners at local distribution companies across the province for taking quick action to make this change and provide immediate support for hardworking people of Ontario,” said Bill Walker, Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP and Associate Minister of Energy.
The Ontario Energy Board is also extending the current ban on electricity disconnection for households and small business that are unable to pay their utility bills to July 31.
“As a company based in rural Ontario, we applaud today’s announcement by Premier Ford, Minister Rickford and Associate Minister Walker, and appreciate how much this will mean for residents, farmers and owners of small businesses in our communities,” said Mike Rencheck, President and CEO, Bruce Power. “At this time it is crucial for all of us to do what we can to ease the burden felt by Ontarians in these trying times. We are a proud partner of business and the government and will continue to do all that we can to continue to power more for less.”
Bruce Power is an essential service that will continue to safely provide, reliable, low-cost, GHG-free electricity to the businesses and residents of Ontario at this critical time. Each day, Bruce Power provides one-third of the provinces electricity needed to power its hospitals, health-care facilities, clinics and communities.
“We are committed to supporting Ontarians and their businesses,” added Rencheck. “We will also continue to produce medical isotopes that are used to sterilize 40 per cent of single-use medical equipment, especially at this time when they are needed the most by front-line workers around the world. Ontarians can continue to count on us every step, every time, every day.”