All Condominiums Get Electricity Bill HST Reduction
On October 19, 2016, the Ontario legislature passed Bill 13, which will reduce residential electricity bills by 8%, an amount equal to the provincial portion of the HST starting January 1, 2017. Although the regulations that will put the rebate into practice are yet to be drafted, we are confident that the 8% rebate will be applied to all condominiums based on the following: (a) The eligibility criteria in Bill 13 does not include any exclusionary language or usage caps – thus, all condos should receive the reduction; (b) Our direct communications with the Ministry indicate the intention of the legislation is to make the rebate available to as many customers as possible; and (c) We have heard the opinion of two utilities that agrees with our assessment that all condominiums, regardless of how they are metered, will receive the reduction. As such, we have reflected the 8% reduction in our clients’ budgeting tools. We approached this potential rebate with caution because we are all too familiar with how the wording of legislation unintentionally caused the 10% Ontario Clean Energy Benefit to be applied differently across condominiums. We have worked to avoid a re-occurrence of this, and will be reviewing the legislation as soon as it is available from the Ministry.