Welcome to 2013: The apocalypse didn’t happen, we’re getting a real winter in Toronto (actual snow…on the ground…that you have to shovel), and Hydro One has come to its senses and eliminated the exorbitantly high residential/seasonal distribution rates. Nah, that last one isn’t true, but HO did announce new rates as of January 1st. The new rates are:
– Distribution service charge ($/month): $23.42
– Distribution volume charge (metered usage, in ¢/kWh): 8.311¢
– Transmission network charge (adjusted usage, in ¢/kWh): 0.652¢
– Transmission connection charge (adjusted usage, in ¢/kWh): 0.470¢
Seasonal customers, as a class, are receiving a reduction in the distribution costs portion of their bills, thanks in part to the efforts of the great team at the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations. FOCA participated in “Settlement Conferences” held last fall by the Ontario Energy Board and presented the case for reduced seasonal rates. The OEB had already decided that HO had been overcharging these customers for their electricity, that the utility was “outside of the regulated limits which specify that the revenues from customers should (roughly) equal the cost of serving them,” as FOCA put it in a recent update. Few cottagers who deal with Hydro One would argue with that assessment.
Look out, though: Overall electricity rates are still going up this year and for the foreseeable, and there may be further changes coming soon. The OEB has ordered Hydro One to set up stakeholder consultation on seasonal rates, which could see that classification discontinued. And if some cottagers are reclassified as low-density rural, they could end up paying even more.