For homeowners or businesses in Ontario, finding it difficult to pay hydro bills, there is new support. The Ontario government has a new fund that offers a one-time payment to help homeowners or businesses pay off some of their hydro bills.
However, there is a major change to hydro rates in the province that means everyone could end up paying more in the days ahead.
For the past few months, millions of Ontarians, forced to work from home during the pandemic, have been saving money on hydro bills thanks to a government-funded discount.
Ratepayers could now be facing higher bills as the government introduces a new ‘recovery electricity rate‘. For the rest of the summer, hydro rates will not be affected by the time of day, instead, homeowners will pay one flat rate for the next four months.
Instead of being charged between 10 to 20 cents per kilowatt-hour, depending on the time of day electricity is used, hydro users will be charged a blanket rate of 12.8 cents per kWh.
Here’s how this new rate could impact homeowners or businesses:
A pre-pandemic bill that costs $59.90 under time of use will now cost $60.28 under the flat rate. But under the province’s pandemic discount, that same bill would have cost about $48.
Ontario says the new rate is simply designed to provide stability.
The impact could be felt by the end of the month because Ontario is not ready to lift many of the current pandemic restrictions.
Those who work in the service industries and downtown office towers are still at home waiting and those in the hardest-hit cities could be waiting even longer.