Ontario is lowering electricity bills by 25 per cent on average for all residential customers as part of a significant system restructuring that will address long-standing policy challenges and ensure greater fairness.
Starting this summer, Ontario’s Fair Hydro Plan would provide households with this 25 per cent break. Many small businesses in Ottawa would also benefit from the initiative. People with low incomes would receive even greater reductions to their electricity bills. As part of this plan, rate increases over the next four years would be held to the rate of inflation for everyone.
These measures include the eight per cent rebate introduced in January and build on previously announced initiatives to deliver broad-based rate relief on all electricity bills.
Taken together, these changes will deliver the single-largest reduction to electricity rates in Ontario’s history.
Recently, electricity rates have risen for two key reasons:
The burden of financing these system improvements and funding these key programs has unfairly fallen almost entirely on the shoulders of today’s ratepayers. To relieve that burden and share costs more fairly, two system fixes are being undertaken.
Recognizing that the electricity infrastructure that has been built will last for many decades to come, the province would refinance those capital investments to ensure that system costs are more equitably distributed over time. In addition, a number of important programs, such as the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP), will now be funded by the government instead of by ratepayers.
The province will also launch a new Affordability Fund, enhance the existing OESP and Rural or Remote Rate Protection (RRRP) program and provide on-reserve First Nations households with a delivery credit. These new measures will cost the government up to $2.5 billion over the next three years.
Notwithstanding that hydro rate relief costs will add significant pressure on the fiscal framework, the province continues to project a balanced budget for 2017-18, and will provide a full update on its fiscal plan in the spring budget.
Reducing electricity costs in Ottawa is part of Ontario’s plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.
“Electricity costs rose sharply and residents and business owners in Ottawa spoke out. They told us the government needed to do more to reduce the costs and make hydro more affordable. Ontario is lowering electricity bills by 25 per cent on average for all residential customers and ensuring rates are fairer in the future for residents and businesses.”
–– Bob Chiarelli, Member of Provincial Parliament, Ottawa West––Nepean, on behalf of Ottawa Caucus
“Recognizing that a number of our customers are struggling with their electricity bills, Hydro Ottawa supports the Government’s action to make electricity more affordable for residents and businesses.”
–– Bryce Conrad, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hydro Ottawa
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