Electricity Rates Rise in Ontario, Choose the Best Rate for You

Dan Hunter

April 25, 2021

Hello there, this is a note of particular interest to my friends in Ontario.

Did you know that the Ontario Energy Board is giving you a choice on how your energy rates are charged? Well, that info came to you quietly, under the radar as a bill attachment, but who reads that stuff?

Here's the lowdown: On November 1st the rates are increasing and the COVID relief rates are ending.  Surprise!

More importantly, as of November 1st, you can choose to stick with your current billing method (most are TOU, or 'Time of Use' with On peak, Mid peak, Off peak rates) or you can choose a Tiered rate, a single price based on a usage threshold:  My thresholds are 1000 kWh in winter and 600 kWh in summer; this makes a big difference!

And they don't make it easy to figure out what's best, so I thought I'd share how to assess what's right for your household.

My quick calculation suggests I can save $8/month on bills by switching to the Tiered rate (@ 12.8c/kWh). No biggie, but that's $100+ year, just for a single decision and an easy change--why would you want to pay MORE for electricity than you have to?  

And here's the good news:  You can also switch back if things change, or summer rates change your best option, but it's time to learn and take some control. And guess what, if the rates remain, in summer it will be better for me to go to the TOU rate system - so keep an eye on your electricity bills and re-visit in 6 months time.

Here are some steps to figure out what makes sense for you - it took me all of 10 minutes:

1) Open your electric bill account online, with billing history handy

2) Open a new tab in your web browser, go to the OEB's rate calculator at https://www.oeb.ca/rates-and-your-bill/bill-calculator

3) Select your electric company; Use the calculator to plug in typical summer and winter usage rates from your electricity bills,

4) It calculates if TOU or the tiered rate is better for you

5) Decide & INFORM: If TOU is better, you can leave it as is - no action required. IF changing to the tiered rate is better for you, you need to inform your electric company TO CHANGE IT. That may be a call to customer service or fill out a form on their site to request a change.

If this matters to you, and you do the quick estimate, let us at Solr Solvr know which option works out best for you - we'd love to hear from you!