Lower Hydro Bills for Thunder Bay Households and Small Businesses
Ontario Cutting Electricity Bills by 25 Per Cent
Ontario is lowering electricity bills by 25 per cent on average for residential customers and small businesses, as part of a significant system restructuring that will address long-standing policy challenges and ensure greater fairness.
In a visit to Thunder Bay Hydro, Glenn Thibeault, Minister of Energy, explained that starting this summer, Ontario’s Fair Hydro Plan would provide households with this 25 per cent break. Many small usinesses
in Northern Ontario would also benefit from the initiative. As part of this plan, rate increases over the next four years would be held to the rate of inflation for everyone.
These measures include the eight per cent rebate introduced in January and build on previously announced initiatives to deliver broad-based rate relief on all electricity bills.Taken together, these changes will deliver the single-largest reduction to electricity rates in Ontario’s history.
Recently, electricity rates have risen for two key reasons:
§ Decades of under-investment in the electricity system by governments of all stripes resulted in the need to invest more than $50 billion in generation, transmission and distribution assets to ensure
the system is clean and reliable.
§ The decision to eliminate Ontario's use of coal and produce clean, renewable power, as well as policies put in place to provide targeted support to rural and low-income customers, have created additional costs.
The burden of financing these system improvements and funding these key programs has unfairly fallen almost entirely on the shoulders of today’s ratepayers. To relieve that burden and share costs more fairly, two system fixes are being undertaken.
Recognizing that the electricity infrastructure that has been built will last for many decades to come, the province would refinance those capital investments to ensure that system costs are more equitably
distributed over time. In addition, a number of important programs, such as the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP), will now be funded by the government instead of by ratepayers.
The province will also launch a new Affordability Fund, enhance the existing OESP and Rural or Remote Rate Protection (RRRP) program and provide on-reserve First Nations households with a delivery credit. These new measures will cost the government up to $2.5 billion over the next three years.Notwithstanding that hydro rate relief costs will add significant pressure on the fiscal framework, the province continues to project a balanced budget for 2017-18, and will provide a full update on its
fiscal plan in the spring budget.Reducing electricity costs in Northern Ontario is part of Ontario’s
plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.
“Ratepayers in Northern Ontario have been loud and clear — we need to do more to help reduce costs. Ontario’s Fair Hydro Plan would reduce costs now and ensure an affordable and reliable electricity system. These new measures would have a significant impact on your monthly hydro bill and would help the most vulnerable.”
–– Glenn Thibeault, Minister of Energy
“Ontario’s Fair Hydro Plan will see a total average reduction of 25 percent on all residential customers’ hydro bills starting this summer. Rural customers will be receiving enhanced support in addition to
savings already on their bills. Providing further relief to my rural constituents without access to natural gas and higher delivery charges has been my focus for some time now. I believe our government has
addressed the need for fairer energy rates for all Ontarians.”
–– Bill Mauro, MPP Thunder Bay—Atikokan
"Thunder Bay Hydro has seen the positive results of offering customers opportunities to reduce their electricity costs. We are encouraged by the province’s support to expand eligibility to a wider range of
customers and look forward to working with the government in delivering these anticipated cost reductions to our customers."
–– Robert Mace, President and CEO of Thunder Bay Hydro
Glenn Thibeault, Minister of Energy
“ Today we are talking about Ontario’s Fair Hydro program but talking about some very specific programs that will help families and businesses in Thunder Bay and area. Part of that is bringing forward the 25% reduction in electricity for families farms and small businesses. Hydro One customers R 1 and have been paying more and our program will help them save between 40 and 50% on their bills as well. That is significant when the legislation passes through the summer if passed. We want to let more people know about all the programs we have in place that may not be known about enough, say to change their windows or upgrade their insulation with the Affordability Fund as well
as seeing the 25 % reduction coming. Small business, some 500,000, and farms will qualify for the 25% reduction as well. If they are time of use customers or see general service on their bill they will qualify.
We want small business to know they are part of this reduction as well. Every political party kicked electricity to the curb and didn’t make the improvements needed so we are proud of beginning the changes.“The Green Energy program created 42,000 jobs in Ontario which was good for the economy but we may not have talked about this as much as we needed.”
“The costs were falling on the ratepayer for the $50 billion investment we made. We were going to pay for this in 20 years but now extended it as it will be used by future generations. It is fairer and lowers cost for everyone.”
Robert Mace Thunder Bay Hydro
“We are glad the Minister came to day to further point out some changes they are making in electricity. Small businesses will qualify for the 17%. Larger businesses will qualify for the Industrial Conservation
Initiative depending on their operation. It could open the reduction to hundreds of medium to large sized customers that didn’t qualify before.”