Late in the day on November 10, 2021, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) released their Decision and Order on Hydro One’s Seasonal Rates Elimination implementation.
OEB’s 2015 decision stands: to eliminate the Hydro One Networks Inc. seasonal distribution rate class (approximately 148,000 customers) and move those customers into one of three Hydro One residential rate classes, according to their density.
Despite acknowledging that, “a significant number of seasonal customers moving to the R2 class were expected to experience bill increases greater than 10%” the OEB considers its decision “reasonable”, having determined that the distribution rates currently charged to seasonal customers do not appropriately reflect the cost to serve them.
This current (November 2021) OEB Decision and Order relates to implementation and mitigation of rate impacts for customers who would see bill impacts of 10% or greater per year.
The phase-in of bill impacts will take place over a period of 10 years, beginning January 1, 2023, in order to limit the total bill increase to 10% per year for affected seasonal customers, including those with low average monthly consumption. (However some seasonal customers at the extreme end of the low consumption range – e.g., monthly consumption of zero kWh – would see a bill increase slightly higher than 10%, but not exceeding 13%, during the 10-year implementation period.)
There will be no retroactive adjustments to any previous hydro bills.
The OEB’s report stated that it received around 850 letters of comment on this proceeding. FOCA notes this is an extraordinary number for this type of proceeding, and we thank every one of you who responded to our calls to action on this file!
In addition to the letters sent directly to the OEB, you helped FOCA’s Power Line campaign if you were one of the 1,959 Ontarians who wrote or called their MPP to comment on the elimination of the seasonal rate class, explaining how it impacts your family.
We believe this was a contributing factor in the OEB’s decision to phase-in the bill impacts by no more than 10% per year.
Terry Rees, FOCA Executive Director