The Ontario government is bringing more transparency to electricity bills for Ontarians. Effective November 1, 2019, electricity bills will show the true cost of power and will include the new Ontario Electricity Rebate.
Under the previous government, the electricity rebate provided to Ontarians was concealed within the price-per-kilowatt-hour line item on electricity statements. This meant customers could not see how much the government rebate was reducing their monthly costs, and bills did not display the true cost of electricity used.
“People deserve facts and accountability, especially when it comes to hydro costs,” said Minister Rickford. “That’s why our government is delivering on its promise to fix the hydro mess and bring more transparent electricity bills to Ontarians. We’ve taken action to remove hundreds of millions of dollars in costs from the electricity system, and we continue to work to find more savings.”
The new Ontario Electricity Rebate will appear as a transparent on-bill line item and will replace the former government’s Fair Hydro Plan. This change comes in response to the Auditor General’s special report on the former government’s Fair Hydro Plan which revealed that “the government created a needlessly complex accounting/financing structure for the electricity rate reduction in order to avoid showing a deficit or an increase in net debt.”
“To our government, transparency is fundamental to fixing the hydro mess. Under the Liberal Government, the unfair hydro scheme hid the true cost of electricity from Ontarians,” said Associate Energy Minister Bill Walker. “Our government’s straightforward approach puts Ontario families first by giving them the full picture of the actual cost of electricity on their bills and properly accounting for this expenditure.”
Improving transparency with regards to electricity rate relief is part of the government’s commitment to respond to the Auditor General of Ontario’s recommendations. The cost of the new Ontario Electricity Rebate will be shown in the Public Accounts of Ontario.
Helping ratepayers clearly see the true cost of electricity and the full amount of the Ontario Electricity Rebate as a single line item on their electricity bill is part of the government’s plan to restore Ontarians’ trust in the energy sector and build a more transparent and accountable electricity system.
“The Electricity Distributors Association commends the government’s commitment to making Ontario’s electricity bills more transparent,” said Teresa Sarkesian, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Electricity Distributors Association. “As the part of our electricity system that is closest to customers, local hydro utilities appreciated the opportunity to work with the government on implementing this important initiative. We worked to ensure that customers who receive their electricity bill will have a clear understanding of the true cost of power and the amount of their on-bill rebate. Local hydro utilities are focused on making electricity more affordable, reducing red tape, and providing customers with a modern and reliable electricity system that works for them.”
The average customer will see the electricity line on their bill rise, showing the real cost per kilowatt hour. The new Ontario Electricity Rebate will compensate for that rise, and will be displayed as a separate line item on hydro bills. The average residential bill will rise in line with the rate of inflation.
For customers who receive support from additional provincial programs, such as the Ontario Electricity Support Program, Rural or Remote Rate Protection, Distribution Rate Protection or First Nations Delivery Credit, they will also see a separate message line summarizing the total provincial support on their bill.
Those eligible for the Ontario Electricity Rebate include most households and small businesses, farms, and long-term care homes.
Depending on billing cycles, some residents may see changes to their bill as soon as mid-November.
The government accepted the Independent Financial Commission of Inquiry’s recommendation to adopt the Ontario Auditor General’s accounting treatment for electricity rate relief formerly provided through Global Adjustment Refinancing under the previous government’s Fair Hydro Plan.