At last night’s Water Commission meeting, Commissioners approved the water utility’s 2017 Rates and Capital Budget. With the water rates approved and PUC Distribution’s 2017 proposed rates submitted to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) for approval, PUC Services is pleased to announce that the average PUC residential customer can expect their combined electric and water bill to drop by approximately $12.00 per month in 2017.
“The PUC has always recognized that the rising cost of electricity is a serious concern, and we work hard to control our costs,” says, PUC President Dominic Parrella. “PUC’s commitment to operating in the most efficient and sustainable way possible has resulted in PUC’s electricity delivery rates being consistently ranked as one of the lowest across the province, and the lowest in Northern Ontario. Furthermore, with respect to total water and sewage costs, our rates are in the bottom 10% across the province.”
Customers may also recall that last year, in response to the community’s economic climate, PUC requested that the OEB forgo an approved increase of 1.65% to its electricity delivery charge. “While another delivery charge deferral wasn’t feasible for 2017, we are relieved to see that the Province is taking action to address the mounting cost of electricity in Ontario,” says PUC Supervisor of Customer Engagement, Giordan Zin.
The Province’s announced 8% rebate on electricity bills will have the biggest impact on the bill in 2017. This 8% rebate combined with a one-time regulatory account settlement will result in a total reduction of 10% on the average PUC electric bill.
Although the overall combined bill will decrease in 2017, there are some increases in both the electric delivery charge and the water bill. For example, a small increase on the electric delivery charge, of $0.68 per month is required. This increase is needed to support PUC’s ongoing efforts to upgrade the city’s electrical distribution grid including, replacing poles, switches, and rebuilding substations.
Customers will also see an increase on their water bill of $2.86 (not including City sewage charge) per month in 2017. This increase will help finance the upgrade of the Water Treatment Plant’s Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) System. The SCADA System is a critical component of the PUC’s Water Treatment facility and citywide water distribution system. The existing SCADA System was installed when the Water Treatment Plant was built in 1986. While the system has undergone several minor updates over the years, it has reached the end of its useful life, and a complete upgrade is essential for the continued reliable operation of the Water Treatment Plant and distribution system.
In summary, the increases noted, combined with the municipal sewage charge, the regulatory account settlement, and the provincial 8% rebate will result in the total PUC bill for the average residential customer decreasing by almost $12.00 per month in 2017.