Building Ontario Up for Everyone: 2016 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review banner

: Reducing Electricity Costs for Ontarians

BACKGROUNDER — November 14, 2016

The Ontario government is dedicated to helping Ontarians in their everyday lives by reducing electricity costs for residential consumers, small businesses and farms. A cleaner and more reliable electricity system creates a range of environmental and economic benefits.

Ontario’s Actions

  • Rebating an amount equal to the eight per cent provincial portion of the Harmonized Sales Tax from the electricity bills of eligible residential consumers, small businesses and farms starting January 1, 2017. A typical residential consumer will see average savings of about $11 each month or $130 annually.
  • Enhancing the Rural or Remote Electricity Rate Protection program to provide eligible rural customers with savings of about $45 per month, or $540 a year, on their electricity bills when combined with the eight per cent rebate.
  • Expanding the Industrial Conservation Initiative program to include customers with monthly peak demand greater than one megawatt, and removing sector-specific restrictions to enable all eligible commercial, institutional and industrial consumers to participate, which would allow more than 1,000 additional businesses to reduce their bills by up to 34 per cent.
  • Continuing the Ontario Electricity Support Program, which provides up to $50 in monthly credits directly on the bills of eligible low-income electricity consumers, and up to $75 a month for those with unique electricity requirements, such as those who rely on certain medical devices, and eligible First Nation and Métis households.
  • Removing the debt retirement charge from electricity bills, saving a typical residential electricity user about $70 each year, as of January 1, 2016.
  • Renegotiating the Green Energy Investment Agreement, reducing contract costs by $3.7 billion.
  • Approving a plan by Ontario Power Generation to pursue ongoing operations of the Pickering nuclear generating station, expecting to save customers as much as $600 million.
  • Suspending the second round of the Large Renewable Procurement process and the Energy-from-Waste Standard Offer Program, expecting to save up to $3.8 billion in costs relative to the 2013 long-term energy plan forecast.
  • Seeking public input to develop the next Long-term Energy Plan to maintain a reliable supply of clean, affordable electricity.

Going Forward

  • Ending the debt retirement charge as of April 1, 2018, for commercial, industrial and other electricity users – nine months earlier than previously estimated.
  • Implementing an agreement with Quebec to more effectively use each other's energy resources, lowering electricity system costs by about  $70 million over seven years, reducing electricity-sector greenhouse gas emissions, and delivering value for electricity ratepayers.
  • Launching an interest-free, $200 million Natural Gas Access Loan program in fall 2016 to build new natural gas infrastructure and ease the costs of converting to natural gas.