Ontario is extending its off-peak electricity rates until October 31. The decision was announced in a statement from Energy, Northern Development, and Mines’ Minister Greg Rickford earlier today.
“As Ontarians continue to work and learn from home, we are extending the suspension of time-of-use price to provide consumers with greater stability and predictability with their electricity bills,” Rickford said. The rate will remain at 12.8 cents/ kWh continuing through until the end of October.
The province is calling it the COVID-19 Recovery rate. “By introducing this new fixed rate, consumers will have greater flexibility to use electricity when they need it without paying on-peak and mid-peak prices,” Rickford said. The province has so far spent $175 million on delivering the emergency rate relief since March 24. The province will share more information during the daily briefing on Monday.
Province Announces New Hydro Initiatives
The Province of Ontario has announced the following three new initiatives to help with hydro costs:
- $9 million for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) to support consumers struggling to pay their energy bills during the pandemic. CEAP will provide one-time payments to consumers to help pay down any electricity bill debt incurred over the COVID‑19 period. Applications will be available through local utilities in the upcoming months;
- $8 million for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB) to provide support to businesses struggling with bill payments as a result of the outbreak; and
- An extension of the Ontario Energy Board’s winter disconnection ban until July 31, 2020 to ensure no one is disconnected from their natural gas or electricity service
“We recognize that businesses and families are living with a great deal of uncertainty, and they need to know what they can expect when they open their electricity bills every month,” Rickford said. Milton Hydro has decided to extend the rate as well.