Changes to Residential Electricity Bills Effective Jan 1, 2016

Debt Retirement Charge (DRC) is being Removed – Residential Customers

Effective January 1, 2016, residential electricity ratepayers will no longer pay the Debt Retirement Charge on consumption of electricity from that date. It is estimated that this will save the typical customer about $70 each year. Residential class bills will still show an amount for DRC if the bill covers electricity consumed in 2015 (there will be cross-over bills that cover both December 2015 and January 2016). The DRC exemption only applies for electricity consumed on or after January 1, 2016.

The Debt Retirement Charge will remain on commercial and industrial customer bills until the DRC is retired on April 1, 2018.

The 10% Ontario Clean Energy Benefit (OCEB) Rebate is Ending

In 2011, the Government of Ontario established the five-year Ontario Clean Energy Benefit (OCEB) to provide a 10% rebate on applicable electricity charges and taxes to eligible Ontario families, farms and small businesses. The benefit aimed to help offset the additional costs of transitioning to a cleaner, modern electricity system and provided relief for customers by discounting electricity bills by 10%. The benefit is ending December 31, 2015 as planned by the provincial government, after its scheduled 5-year run.  Only eligible low-income households will now receive assistance directly on their electricity bills in a program called the Ontario Electricity Support Program.

Ontario Electricity Support Program for Low-Income Customers

The Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) is a new program for low-income electricity customers. Eligible low-income customers can apply to receive a credit on their bills to help reduce the cost of their electricity. It will save eligible low income families between $30 and $50 each month. The OESP line will only appear on the bills of households receiving the credit.

This is an electricity rate reduction program and is only available to eligible electricity account holders. To apply, Ontarians can visit OntarioElectricitySupport.ca or phone the call centre at 1-855-831-8151. Consumers may also be eligible for support through other existing relief programs such as the Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit (OEPTC), www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/credit/oeptc or the Northern Ontario Energy Credit (NOEC), www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/credit/noec.

The OESP on-bill credit amount will depend on how many people live in the house and the combined household income. Eligibility for the program is based on Statistics Canada’s Low-Income Measure (LIM). Costs for the OESP will be recovered from all Ontario electricity consumers. The cost impact to a typical residential consumer’s bill is expected to be about one dollar per month.

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