Do you ever find your eyes glazing over as you read your hydro bill? We’ve been there! As you make your way further into the list of line items, it can feel like things are making less and less sense. Hydro companies don’t bother to provide a context for these charges—but that’s where we can help!
In the last 3 posts of our “Your Hydro Bill Explained” blog series, we provided you with information on various aspects of your monthly charges including:
In this post, we’d like to do some housecleaning. There are a couple of items near the bottom of your bill that seem pretty unconnected to your own electricity usage. To make sense of them, we’d like to provide a context by telling you the story of how they got there. So settle back and prepare to learn about the energy industry in Ontario!
Debt Retirement Charge
Where did this debt come from? Great question—the debt was accumulated as the old Ontario Hydro built our current systems for electricity generation and transmission. So this Debt Retirement Charge is similar to a mortgage on a house. We’re currently paying off the money we borrowed to build Ontario’s electrical infrastructure!
As you may know, Ontario Hydro ceased operations in 1999 and was reorganized into five separate companies (one of which is Hydro One). Around the same time, the OEFC (Ontario Electricity Financial Corporation) was established to “manage and retire” the former Ontario Hydro’s debt. They’re the ones who implemented the Debt Retirement Charge.
Want to hear the good news? We’ve almost done with it! Effective on January 1st, 2016, all residential-class users will be exempt from the Debt Retirement Charge. Further exemptions are available to general service-class users—check out the Ontario Ministry of Finance website for more details.
Ontario Clean Energy Benefit
Who is eligible to receive this benefit? According to the Ministry of Energy website, the OCEB is available to families, farms and small businesses who “receive energy from a utility or suite-metering provider.” Currently, it benefits;
4 million residential users
400,00 small businesses and farms
How much do you save? The Ontario Clean Energy Benefit provides a 10% rebate on the first 3,000 kWh of your monthly bill. Families use an average of 800 kWh/month, so you probably don’t need to worry about going over the limit at home! If you do, you’ve got another problem on your hands…
This benefit is offered to help Ontario families, farms and small businesses transition to a cleaner, modern electricity system.The 10% rebate is applicable to the following:
Your electricity charges
Your delivery & regulatory charges
Your debt retirement charge
We hope the story is clear to you now! If you’d like to learn more about your hydro bill, check our other blogs.
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