COVID-19: Ontario will not offer off-peak hydro pricing during 2nd stay-at-home order

The Ontario government will not be offering off-peak hydro pricing while the province is under its second stay-at-home order as it did the first time amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ford government had implemented an off-peak rate cap of 8.5 cents per kilowatt hour during the first stay-at-home order across the province in early January.

The temporary cap was extended twice but expired on Feb. 23 and Ontarians returned to the regular three time-of-use rate periods.

Read more: Coronavirus: Ontario government extends off-peak electricity rate cap by nearly 2 weeks

Off-peak rates include weekends and statutory holidays, as well as weekdays from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Mid-peak rates are during weekdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in winter (Nov. 1- April 30) and 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. during summer (May 1 to Oct. 31).

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On-peak rates are charged during 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. during winter and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. during summer.

Ontario is currently under a four-week provincewide stay-at-home order which came into effect April 8 at 12:01 a.m.

A spokesperson for Minister of Energy Greg Rickford confirmed on Thursday the cap will not be put into effect again and pointed to other options for hydro relief for customers.

Read more: Coronavirus: Ontario’s electricity price cap scheduled to end on Thursday

“Since the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our government has supported Ontarians through bill relief for ratepayers and by providing financial support for those struggling to pay their bills,” said Alex Puddifant.

“As Ontarians continue to work from home, our government introduced customer choice for all Ontario customers; we encourage customers who are still paying time-of-use electricity rates to consider switching to the tiered rate option, offering a flat rate at all hours of the day.”

Puddifant said the government is also focused on providing hydro relief through the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP),  where customers may be eligible for up to $750 in support.

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