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Three Major Changes to Electricity for Ontario Condos Coming November 1st, 2020

Three Major Changes to Electricity for Ontario Condos Coming November 1st, 2020

The October 13, 2020 Provincial Government Announcement rolled together quite a few changes coming November 1st.  We have the knowledge and experience to unpack those changes – here is a summary of how the changes will impact condominiums:

1. Ontario Electricity Rebate Extended to April 30, 2021 and increased from 31.8% to 33.2%:
We are happy that the positive progress reported in the April 2020 Blog Post has been made official.  The grandfathering eligibility for the Ontario Electricity Rebate (OER) has been extended to April 30, 2021.   “Common area only” condominium accounts were looking at a 32% increase (you read that right – 32%!) in their electricity costs as their grandfathered access to the OER was ending October 31, 2020.  This is a huge win for us!  We have been working on this with our owners and associations since December 2019.  We hope the six month extension will be used to revisit and clarify the regulations.

2. November 1st Prices Back to the Normal Structure – Higher than Fixed Covid Rates:
As is standard practice, the government announced new electricity prices that will start November 1st.  The “Covid Recovery Rate” structure will be eliminated, and condominiums will return to their normal rate structure on November 1st.  The majority of condominium accounts are on the Time of Use rate structure.  The new rates are significantly higher than the Covid Recovery Rate, so the Ontario Electricity Rebate was increased from 31.8% to 33.2%.  With these two changes, we will see a net 2% annual increase in electricity, which the government says is in-line with inflation.  For more details on the price changes, and programs that are in place to support residential customers that are struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of the pandemic, see Ontario Energy Board - Nov 1 Prices.  Note that a suite must have its own electricity account to participate in the pandemic relief programs.

3. Customers can choose Time Of Use or Tiered Rate Structure:
Finally, it was announced that residential customers will have an option of how they will be charged for their electricity usage – they can choose between Time-of-use (TOU) rates or Tiered rate pricing on November 1st. Time-of-use electricity rates vary by time of day and are comprised of three different rate periods of off-peak, mid-peak and on-peak pricing. Tiered electricity has no time component – the customer is charged a lower fixed rate for electricity up to a certain level of consumption, and then a higher fixed rate for anything above that consumption.  Our energy manager is performing a general analysis of what this option might mean for our clients, and will be making recommendations on next steps to Crossbridge leadership shortly.