Residential and commercial hydro customers being given rate choice

© Can Stock Photo / HappyRojo

Residential and small commercial electricity customers in Ontario are being given the ability to choose between time-of-use and tiered pricing starting November 1.

Bluewater Power President and CEO Janice McMichael-Dennis said time-of-use customers pay different rates depending on the time of day, and the day of the week electricity is used.

She said tiered rate customers can use a certain amount of electricity each month at a lower price, and once that threshold is reached, a higher price will apply.

“This choice is really unique to every customer, it depends on their consumption pattern and it depends on how much electricity they use,” said McMichael-Dennis. “The average customer, as of November 1, uses about 64 per cent of their electricity off-peak and they use about 640 kilowatt-hours a month, that average customer is better off to be on tiered pricing.”

McMichael-Dennis said switching to tiered pricing would save the average customer about $4 a month.

But, she said there’s a lot of customers who aren’t average.

“If you do consume a very high portion of your electricity off-peak, and that would be anybody above 73 per cent off-peak, or if you’re a very high user, so anybody who’s consuming approximately 1,580 kilowatt-hours a month, that’s about double from a normal user, those residential customers would be better off to stay on time-of-use.”

McMichael-Dennis said links to the Ontario Energy Board calculator are posted to their website to run your own analysis.

“The easiest way to do a Bluewater Power specific analysis would be to use our “My Account” tool. It’s a great online tool, you can actually use your own real consumption from the past year and then that way you know what percentage you consume off-peak and you know what your kilowatt-hour usage is.”

She said you can select your preference through the My Account portal, Bluewater Power’s website, by email or telephone.

McMichael-Dennis said there’s no deadline to make the switch, if you switch to tiered and are not happy you can switch back, and customers who choose to do nothing will stay on time-of-use pricing.

She also shared that Bluewater Power’s portion of the residential bill, including rate riders, is decreasing November 1 and customers will also benefit from increasing provincial transmission rates and increases to the Ontario Electricity Rebate.