By: Laura Steiner
Hydro prices will see a 25% cut beginning this summer in Ontario. Premier Kathleen Wynne announced her government’s plan to bring relief to ratepayers Thursday morning.
“We are tripling the size of the cut we’re making to people’s hydro bills from 8% to 25%. Electricity rates in Ontario will come down significantly, they’re going to stay down and everyone will benefit,” Wynne said. The government has recently committed to reducing the cost by 8% (the provincial portion of the HST).
The government will also assume responsibility for the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP). They are also launching a Affordability Fund, and a rural or Remote Rate Protection (RRRP) program designed to enhance the existing OESP. The Wynne government also hopes to help First Nations with a delivery credit.
The programs will cost approximately $2.5 billion/ year over the next three years. “These new measures would have a significant impact on your monthly hydro bill and would help the most vulnerable,” Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault said.
The Ontario government is in the process of selling off 60% of Ontario Hydro, which amounts to $750 million. The money from the sale is expected to go to infrastructure projects. Ontario’s Cap & Trade program started January 1, 2017 raising the prices on heating oil by $5/month, and fuel prices by 4.3 cents/ litre.
NDP announces Hydro Plans
New Democratic Party (NDP) Leader Andrea Horwath announced her party’s plans for hydro earlier this week. The NDP says their measures would reduce rates by 30%. They propose to get rid of peak pricing, and balance the rates paid by urban, a rural rate payers. They would also buy back the 30% of Ontario Hydro already sold.
The Progressive Conservatives haven’t announced their ideas for hydro yet. “We are putting the finishing touches our plan, and will be releasing it in the coming weeks. We want to get this right, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do,” PC Leader Patrick Brown said in a Facebook post.