Energy prices to rise to kick off hot summer months
Published Thursday, April 19, 2012 9:23PM EDT
Energy prices for residential homes and small businesses will be going up on May 1, just as air conditioners start humming across the province.
The Ontario Energy Board announced Thursday that the increases will add anywhere from $3.99 to $5.80 to the average monthly residential energy bill.
The fee increases are part of a twice-a-year review of energy prices conducted by the board.
The Ontario energy minister said that the increased cost is due to ongoing efforts to make the energy system more environmentally friendly.
"There's no escaping the cost of doing the responsible thing, which is modernizing the system," said Minister Chris Bentley.
The province is phasing out air-polluting coal generation and replacing it with more expensive sources of energy including natural gas, nuclear, solar and wind power.
NDP energy critic Peter Tabuns said the increasing prices show the entire energy system needs to change.
"We have to move away from the privatized power model, go back to publically owned power, get profits out of the system and we have to help people, help businesses, with energy efficiencies to reduced their electricity bill and reduce demands on the system," Tabuns said.
The Ontario government said it is managing the system well and fewer brown outs are proof of this.
When it comes to the new costs, for the 81 per cent of residences and small businesses on the time-of-use energy pricing model, the fee increases are as follows:
- Peak energy prices, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, will increase 0.9 cents to 11.7 cents per kWh.
- Mid-peak prices, weekdays from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., will increase 0.8 cents to 10 cents per kWh.
- Off-peak prices, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays and all day on weekends and holidays, will increase 0.3 cents to 6.5 cents per kWh.
In total, this means time-of-use consumers will pay approximately 3.3 per cent more on their monthly bill, said the energy board in a press release.
For consumers not yet switched to the time-of-use pricing model, increases will be between 0.4 and 0.5 cents per kWh.
This will mean a monthly bill will be approximately 5.1 per cent higher for those customers.
The increase comes after Toronto Hydro launched a public-education campaign to make the case for higher energy prices to help pay for upgrades it said were necessary due to aging infrastructure and a high-rise building boom in the downtown core.
In January, the Ontario Energy Board rejected a previous fee increase request by Toronto Hydro that would have raised monthly bills by approximately $5 each month.
With files from CTV Toronto's Natalie Johnson