Hydro prices: How Toronto compares to other cities
Paul Bliss, CTV Toronto
Published Friday, December 25, 2015 5:54PM EST
Ontario's electricity prices have more than doubled in the last 10 years, but how do Toronto bills compare to those in other Canadian and U.S. cities?
CTV Toronto Queen's Park Bureau Chief Paul Bliss found that Toronto residents pay an average of $143.07 per month for hydro, before taxes, in 2015. In Ottawa, residents pay about $148.
Those in Toronto and Ottawa pay almost exactly double the average in Montreal, which had the lowest average of Canadian cities at $71.91. Residents of Winnipeg pay slightly more, at an average of $81.09 per month.
When asked about the lower rates, Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli told CTV Toronto that rates are lower in the provinces directly east and west of Ontario because of their geography.
Quebec and Manitoba are blessed with sloping ground and fast-flowing rivers and waterfalls, which allows for cheaper electricity.
"We will not be able to compete with Quebec and Manitoba prices," he said.
Residents of Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary also pay less than Toronto, with averages of $102.90, $115.47and $116.55, respectively. In Regina, the average rate is comparable to Toronto at 143.07.
The highest rates in Canada are in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. Residents of Charlottetown pay approximately $156.17 a month, while those in Halifax pay $160.30. In St. John's, the average rate is lower, at $115.53.
Canadians living in major cities are still paying less than their neighbours to the south, the data showed.
Chicago dwellers pay approximately $167.90 per month for hydro, while in Detroit, residents pay a monthly average of $177.67. Those living in San Francisco pay $276.94 on average, while New York has the highest bills at 289.04.
When broken down by price per kilowatt hour, Montreal is again the cheapest city at 7.63 cents. In Toronto and Ottawa, the price is doubled at approximately 15 cents.
Here's how the other North American cities break down, from east to west:
- St. John's : 12.41 cents
- Charlottetown: 17.09 cents
- Halifax: 16.68 cents
- New York: 30.10 cents
- Detroit: 17.69 cents
- Chicago: 18 cents
- Winnipeg: 8.55 cents
- Regina: 15.59 cents
- Calgary: 12.94 cents
- Edmonton: 12.91 cents
- Vancouver: 9.27 cents
- San Francisco: 25 cents
Though Ontario rates are higher than some Canadian cities, Chiarelli pointed out that many receive discounts in the province.
"Over the last five years we've had the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit which takes 10 per cent off the bottom line in the bill, and seniors have tax credits which can benefit them up to $1,032 a year."
But the Clean Energy discount expires on Jan. 1, so most Ontario residents will see an increase of approximately $12 per month on their bills.