Kenora - Rainy River MPP and Energy Minister, Greg Rickford, says small business owners will have a choice on how their billed for electricity use, as of November 1.

During Question Period at Queen’s Park last week, Rickford explained that Ontario’s been working to change the divisive rate system, and the COVID-19 pandemic prompted them into action.

“This has been a challenge prior to COVID. So we took swift action to understand that there were families who would struggle paying their bills through COVID. That’s why we put $9 million into a program for them. That’s why we put $8 million in a support program for small businesses.”

Starting Nov. 1, customers who are considered residential, small business or farms will have the choice to choose between time-of-use rates and tiered rates. Time of use rates will still be an option if a small businesses does prefer it.

In March, Ontario and Rickford introduced the COVID-19 Recovery hydro rate, a new fixed price that’s in place 24/7 until October 31, when the program is set to end. The rate of 12.8¢/kWh is based on the average cost of electricity.

“With time-of-use, we needed a rate that was fair and competitive for families that were still going to be at home. We need fair, certain prices that provide great value for the people of Ontario,” Rickford added.

Rickford says Ontario has provided over $175 million in hydro rate relief throughout the pandemic, through the off-peak and fixed rates.

For more information:
Hydro relief to continue into the Fall
45 day hydro rates could be extended, Energy Minister