Electricity Price Plan

Power is personal. You can now choose Tiered prices over TOU prices.

Since June 1, 2020, customers on TOU have been paying a fixed electricity price of 12.8 ¢/kWh for all hours of the day (known as the COVID-19 Recovery Rate) which the government put in place as part of the its response to the COVID pandemic. This fixed price ends on October 31, 2020. On November 1, 2020, the TOU prices approved by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) will replace the fixed price.

Beginning November 1, 2020, if you are a residential or small business customer that pays Time-of-Use (TOU) electricity prices, you can choose to switch to Tiered prices.

With TOU, the price you pay depends on when you use electricity. With Tiered prices, you can use a certain amount of electricity each month at a lower price. Once that limit is exceeded, a higher price applies.


How do I change my rate plan?

If you want to continue paying TOU prices, no action is required.

To switch from TOU to Tiered pricing, you must notify PUC Services by completing an election form available to download here. You can submit the election form through mail, or by emailing the form to customer.care@ssmpuc.com.

PUC will begin accepting election forms on October 13th, 2020. There is no deadline. You can ask to switch to Tiered pricing at any time.


What is the difference between Tiered and TOU prices?

TIME-OF-USE (TOU)

With TOU prices, you can help manage your electricity costs by shifting your usage to lower price periods when possible. The price depends on when you use electricity:

Off-peak: when demand for electricity is lowest. This price applies in the evenings on weekdays and all day on weekends. Every household and small business is different, but on average, Ontario households use nearly two thirds of their electricity during off-peak hours.

Cost: 10.5 cents/kWh

Mid-peak: when demand for electricity is moderate. These periods are during the daytime, but not the busiest times of day.

Cost: 15.0 cents/kWh

On-peak: when demand for electricity is generally higher. These are the busier times of day – generally when people are cooking, starting up their computers and running heaters or air conditioners.

Cost: 21.7 cents/kWh

TIERED

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. Although May to October 2020 has been an exception due to COVID-19, 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. The Tier threshold for small business customers 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.

Residential Prices Between November 1, 2020-April 30, 2021: 

Up to 1,000 kWh/month: 12.6 cents/kWh

Over 1,000 kWh/month: 14.6 cents/kWh

Small Business Prices Between November 1, 2020-April 30, 2021:

Up to 750 kWh/month: 12.6 cents/kWh

Over 750 kWh/month: 14.6 cents/kWh

Considering a switch?

Power is personal; here are a few things to consider if you are thinking about opting out of TOU prices in favour of Tiered prices. 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. You can also review your electricity consumption and historical TOU data using our Customer Connect portal. Log in or sign up here. 

  • Your price plan

Do you pay TOU or Tiered prices for your electricity? If you’re unsure, take a look at the Electricity line of your bill or log in or sign up for our Customer Connect portal. Most residential and small business customers in Ontario pay TOU prices.

  • Your usage

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. You can review your electricity consumption and historical TOU data using our Customer Connect portal. Sign up or log in here.

  • Your consumption pattern

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 or log in or sign up for our Customer Connect portal to see how much power you use in each of the three TOU price periods.

  • Seasonal changes and time of year

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.

  • Lifestyle and daily habits

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? 

  • Small business

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. So may a dry cleaner compared to a convenience store, or a clothing store compared to a bakery.


Where can I find more information to help me choose?

  • To discover whether a switch makes sense you for financially, you can also click here to use the OEB bill calculator to estimate your monthly bill.
  • Click here to download the Q&A or visit www.oeb.ca/choice.

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