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The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has developed a scorecard for all local distribution companies across the Province as a tool to allow customers to gain a better sense of how well their utility is performing over a 5 year period. Utility scorecards track and show comprehensive performance information for each electricity utility in Ontario, over a range of time and for a specific year.
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If you’re a residential or small business customer that pays Time-of-Use (TOU) electricity prices, you can choose to switch to Tiered prices.
By default, all customer accounts are on standard TIME OF USE (TOU). To remain on TOU, there is no need to contact North Bay Hydro. Only reach out to North Bay Hydro if you wish to opt out and change to the newly offered Tiered Pricing program. More details below.
To switch from TOU to Tiered prices, you must notify North Bay Hydro by completing an election form, available online:
– for residential customers at https://www.northbayhydro.com/residential/forms/
– for commercial customers at https://www.northbayhydro.com/business/forms/
– or by contacting us at 705-474-8100.
North Bay Hydro will begin accepting election forms on October 13, 2020.
OEB Choosing Your Electricity Price Plan: https://oeb.ca/choice
OEB Rate Calculator: https://www.oeb.ca/rates-and-your-bill/bill-calculator
About TOU Prices
With TOU prices, the price depends on when you use electricity. You can help manage your electricity costs by shifting your usage to lower price periods when possible.
There are three TOU periods:
People use electricity differently depending on the season, so the TOU price periods are different in the winter than they are in the summer.
About Tiered Prices
With Tiered prices, you can use a certain amount of electricity each month at a lower price. Once that limit (called a threshold) is exceeded, a higher price applies. For residential customers, the threshold normally changes with the season to reflect changing usage patterns – for example, there are fewer hours of daylight in the winter and some customers use electric heating.
In the winter period (November 1 – April 30), the Tier threshold for residential customers is 1,000 kWh so that households can use more power at the lower price. In the summer period (May 1 – October 31), the Tier threshold for residential customers is 600 kWh.
For small business customers, the Tier threshold is 750 kWh all year round.
Tiered prices give you the flexibility to use electricity at any time of day at the same price, although that price will change if you exceed the threshold during the month.
Considering a Switch?
Are you thinking about opting out of TOU prices in favour of Tiered prices? Here are a few things to consider. Make sure you have some of your recent electricity bills handy as you go through the information below. Keep in mind the effect of COVID-19 on your electricity use (for instance, you may be working from home when you normally wouldn’t be). Most of the information you will need is on the Electricity line of your bill.
Do you pay TOU or Tiered prices for your electricity? If you’re unsure, take a look at the Electricity line of your bill. Most residential and small business customers in Ontario pay TOU prices.
How much electricity do you use in a month? If you’re unsure, take a look at the Electricity line on your bill. You might also want to look at the historical usage graph on your bill, which shows your average daily usage over the past 12-month period.
When you use electricity can be another factor in your choice. Historically, the typical residential customer who paid TOU prices has used nearly two thirds of their power at off-peak times – the time when the lowest TOU price applies. The other third of their power used was typically split equally between on- and mid-peak times. Look at the Electricity line of your bill to see how much power you use in each of the three TOU price periods.
As described above, the TOU price periods and Tier thresholds change with the season and are different during the winter (November 1 – April 30) and summer (May 1 – October 31) periods. Does the amount of electricity you use change based on the season?
If you’re thinking about switching, you should pay close attention to how much electricity you use in a month, because on Tiered pricing the price is higher for every kWh of electricity that you use above the Tier threshold of 1,000 kWh in the winter or 600 kWh in the summer. For instance, if you heat your home electrically, your monthly use in the winter may be higher. And the same goes for the summer if you need to run your air conditioner.
With TOU prices, the price depends on when you use electricity. Although the TOU price periods also change with the season, the electricity you use after 7 p.m. every day, and all the time on weekends and holidays, is charged at the lowest price under TOU all year round.
Are you often home during the day on weekdays, so that shifting your usage is more challenging? Do you have large appliances that you need to run during the day on weekdays? Can you shift more of that usage to nighttime or weekend hours?
If you’re a small business owner, some of the same factors mentioned earlier also apply – how much electricity do you use each month, and when do you use it? Keep in mind that the Tier threshold for small business customers is 750 kWh all year round. And not all small businesses are the same. A large restaurant with several ovens running in the evening may have a very different electricity usage pattern than a small salon that’s only open during the day. Similarly, a dry cleaner compared to a convenience store, or a clothing store compared to a bakery.
Rules for TOU Customer Choice
If you’re a TOU customer and don’t want to switch to Tiered prices, you don’t need to do anything. You will stay on TOU prices.
If you do want to switch to Tiered prices, here are the rules that apply. These rules also apply if you later want to switch back to TOU prices.
For more information about TOU and Tiered pricing, visit www.oeb.ca/choice