Ontario won't return to time-of-use hydro pricing on May 7
TORONTO -- Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he disagrees with the Ontario Energy Board's decision to revert back to winter time-of-use electricity prices when his temporary order to suspend time-of-use billing ends in May.
“I don’t like that ‘time of use’ any time, not to mention when people are at home,” Ford said Wednesday.
He was responding to a notice from the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) that once the 45-day suspension of time of use ends May 7, electricity pricing for most Ontario customers would revert to the November 2019 pricing ̶ with the mid-peak rate at 14.4 cents per kilowatt hour and the peak price at 20.8 cents per kilowatt hour.
“We will be sitting down with the president of the treasury board, the minister of finance and the minister for energy to come up with a solution – just stay tuned you’ll hear about that over next little while – but to be very blunt I am not in favour of that,” Ford said.
On March 24, the Ford government moved to suspend time-of-use billing and moved all customers onto the lowest rate in response to the pandemic, as emergency measures meant more people would be at home during middle of the day, when electricity costs the most.
This week, Ontario legislators voted in favour of extending the province’s emergency declaration until May 12, signalling that things won’t be back to normal in the province by May 7.
Yesterday, the OEB said it would move back to 2019 winter rates, not setting a new summertime electricity price due to the pandemic.
It also said staying on winter time-of-use billing would keep the price of hydro on weekdays between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. lower than if they moved to a summer schedule, where that time period is considered the peak of daily hydro use.
“Retaining the winter TOU price periods means that the mid-peak price, rather than the higher on-peak price, will apply weekday afternoons (11 a.m.-5 p.m.), which can be a time of high electricity use for those at home, especially in summer.”
But Ford said the rate increase is not something he wants to put on Ontarians during this time.
“We’ll do whatever it takes – we won’t spare a penny to make sure life’s a little more comfortable during these times.”