Toronto, ON — As of Jan. 18, the Ontario government is providing 21 days of electricity-rate relief to support families, workers, and small businesses spending more time at home due to the recent COVID-19 restrictions. Electricity prices are lowered to the off-peak rate of 8.2 cents per kilowatt-hour, less than half the on-peak rate, 24 hours per day.
“Effective today (Jan 18), families and small businesses will benefit from 21 days of electricity rate relief as our government implements the off-peak rate. The off-peak, which is less than half the on-peak rate, will provide immediate savings as Ontarians spend more time at home and work together to slow the spread of the Omicron variant,” said Todd Smith, minister of energy.
Electricity customers are not required to do anything or sign up to receive the benefit rate cut. It is applied automatically to both Time-of-Use and Tiered rate plans on the bills of residential customers, small businesses and farms who pay regulated rates set by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB).
In addition to this initiative, the government has introduced existing programs, like the Ontario Electricity Rebate (OER) and the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP), to reduce electricity prices.
OER provides eligible customers with a 17 per cent rebate on the subtotal of the electricity bill, including households, small businesses and farms. Eligible customers will still be able to benefit from the OER while off-peak pricing is in place.
For Ontarians struggling to pay their energy bills, LEAP provides a one-time grant towards electricity or natural gas bills to eligible consumers behind on payments. The OEB recently increased the grant amount to supply additional relief so eligible consumers can now get up to $1,000 for their electricity bills ($1,200 if their home is electrically heated) and $1,000 for their natural gas bills.