Regulated Price Plan (RPP) Customer Choice
If you’re a residential or small business customer that pays Time-of-Use (TOU) electricity prices, you can choose to switch to Tiered prices beginning November 1, 2020.
Power is personal. Some customers may prefer TOU prices. For instance, customers who work different shifts may be able to use more of their electricity at times when lower off-peak prices apply, and customers who recharge their electric cars may also want to take advantage of the lower off-peak prices that apply at night.
Others may favour Tiered prices because they want the flexibility to do their household chores at any time of the day, or their total usage rarely exceeds 600 kWh in a month in summer, or 1,000 kWh in a month in winter.
Whatever you choose, one thing remains certain: the less electricity you use, the less you pay.
If you want to continue paying TOU prices, no action is required. If you are considering a switch, please review the below and submit a request through our online form found here.
RPP Frequently asked Q&A
What is Time-of-Use (TOU) or Tiered Price Customer Choice?
If you’re a residential or small business customer that pays TOU electricity prices, you can choose to switch to Tiered prices beginning with your electricity used starting November 1, 2020.
If I elect to switch pricing options, when will my change take effect?
In accordance with the Ontario Energy Board’s Standard Supply Service Code no election shall be applied to a billing period that begins before November 1, 2020. Renfrew Hydro will process your request to be effective with the first full meter reading period where both the “Present” and “Previous” reading dates are on or after November 1, 2020. All consumption billed must be after October 31st, 2020. You will find your meter reading dates in the top half of your bill under Read Dates. Once the date under the heading Previous is a November date then your elected RPP electricity rates will become effective. Until such time, you will continue to receive one or more bills at RPP TOU princes.
If you want to continue paying TOU prices, no action is required.
To switch from TOU to Tiered prices, you must notify Renfrew Hydro by completing an election form. Renfrew Hydro will begin accepting election forms on October 13, 2020. There is no deadline. You can ask to switch at any time. You can find the election form on the Renfrew Hydro web site, or we can mail you an election form if you don’t have internet.
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 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.
What are TOU prices?
With TOU prices, the price depends on when you use electricity. There are three TOU price periods:
Off-peak, when demand for electricity is lowest. This price applies in the evenings on weekdays and all day on weekends.
Mid-peak, when demand for electricity is moderate. These periods are during the daytime, but not the busiest times of day.
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.
Every household and small business is different, but on average, Ontario households use nearly two thirds of their electricity during off-peak hours. With TOU pricing, you can help manage your electricity costs by shifting your usage to lower price periods when possible. People use electricity differently depending on the season, so the TOU price periods are different in the summer (May 1 to October 31) than they are in the winter (November 1 to April 30).
What are Tiered prices?
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.
What you will see on your bill if you are a Residential Class Customer choosing RPP Tiered Prices?
Once you start being billed Tiered RPP electricity prices, you will no longer be billed for electricity usage based on the time of day you use the electricity. Instead, since you have opted to be billed based on Tiered prices, you will pay based on the Tier-1 price for up to the Tier-1 threshold of 1,000 kWh per 30 day period, during the winter period and any additional electricity usage over the Tier-1 threshold in the billing period will be billed based on the Tier-2 price, as set by the Ontario Energy Board.
What are electricity losses?
When electricity is delivered over a power line, it is normal for a small amount of power to be consumed or lost as heat. Equipment, such as wires and transformers, consume power before it gets to your home or business. The dollar amount of electricity that is lost through distributing electricity to your home or business, is billed to customers by Renfrew Hydro who in turn pays the full amount to its electricity suppliers.
The electricity you are billed is based on the electricity loss adjusted usage. Renfrew Hydro’s electricity loss adjustment factor is 1.0810.
Can you provide a detailed example of how tiered electricity prices are calculated and shown on my bill?
Below is a detailed example of how tiered electricity prices are calculated and will be shown on your bill, using Tiered rates in effect as of November 1, 2020 during the winter period. Rates are subject to change.
In the above example, you will notice actual usage was 992 kWh. With loss adjustment factor added this amounts to 1,072 kWh in billed usage. OEB regulations require the loss adjustment to appear in the delivery line of bills. Due to this, you will notice b and c combine to add to actual usage of 992 kWh. b and d combine to add to Tier 1 billed usage of 1,000 kWh. c and e combine to add to Tier 2 billed usage above 1,000 kWh. b, c, d and e combine to add to total billed usage.
What do TOU and Tiered prices pay for?
The OEB sets TOU and Tiered prices based on a forecast of how much it will cost to supply TOU and Tiered customers with the electricity they are expected to use over the next 12 months. The OEB sets TOU and Tiered prices to recover the same forecast average cost of supply.
The OEB sets both TOU and Tiered prices under the Regulated Price Plan (RPP). The RPP is designed to provide stable pricing, encourage conservation and ensure that the price customers pay for electricity better reflects the price paid to generators that produce the electricity that customers use in their homes or small businesses.
Electricity utilities are not allowed to make a profit from the sale of electricity.
How often are TOU and Tiered prices set?
The OEB typically sets new TOU and Tiered prices each May and November, based on an estimate of how much it will cost to supply residential and small business customers on the Regulated Price Plan with the electricity that they are expected to use.
Will I save money by opting out of TOU prices?
There is no guarantee you will save money if you switch from TOU to Tiered prices. The total bill impact of switching will vary depending on how much electricity you consume in a month and when it is consumed during the day.
Considering a switch to Tiered prices? For more information, go to www.oeb.ca/choice and use their bill calculator to compare what your bill might look like if you switched from TOU to Tiered pricing.
What do I need to do to switch to Tiered prices?
If you’re a TOU customer and don’t want to switch to Tiered prices, you don’t need to do anything. You will stay on TOU prices.
If you do want to switch to Tiered prices, here are the rules that apply. These rules also apply if you later want to switch back to TOU prices.
Starting October 13, 2020, Renfrew Hydro is making its election form available on our website, and to any customer that requests it. Renfrew Hydro is accepting election forms by email or mail. You’ll need to fill out the election form to notify Renfrew Hydro that you want to switch. The form is intended to be as simple as possible in terms of the information that you need to provide. You will need to have a recent electricity bill on hand when filling out the form, as the information provided on the form must match the information on your bill.
Within 10 business days of receiving your election form, Renfrew Hydro will tell you if your election form cannot be processed and must explain why (for instance, if you’re not authorized to make changes to the account, or the account can’t be verified).
If there are no issues with your election form, Renfrew Hydro has the same 10 business days to let you know when you can expect to start being billed on Tiered prices. Renfrew Hydro will notify you of when your change will take effect, by mail.
A switch from TOU to Tiered prices can only take effect at the start of a billing period. A billing period is generally about 30 days long, and the start and end dates are identified on your electricity bill.
Renfrew Hydro will start charging you Tiered prices as of your next billing period after you submit your election form if Renfrew Hydro receives that form at least 10 business days before that billing period starts, and provided there are no issues with your form (see above).
If Renfrew Hydro receives your complete election form less than 10 business days before the start of your next billing period, Renfrew Hydro will start charging you Tiered prices at the start of the next billing period after that.
Because a switch in prices can only take effect at the beginning of a billing period, it will take some time between the day you provide your election form and the day you actually start getting charged Tiered prices.
Even if you provide your election form to Renfrew Hydro before the end of October, you’ll very likely pay TOU prices for at least some period of time between November 1 and the time when your next complete billing period starts (or the billing period after that, depending on when you provide your election form).
If I have opted into Tiered prices, can I switch back to TOU prices?
Yes. And the rules that apply to switching to Tiered prices also apply if you later want to switch back to TOU prices.
Can all customers opt out of TOU prices?
Any customer on TOU may opt out and pay Tiered prices instead.
Customers who are currently paying Tiered prices can’t switch to TOU prices at this time because their meters can’t be used to bill TOU prices.
If you live in a condo or apartment that has its own individual meter and your bill comes from a company other than your electricity utility, you are a customer of a unit sub-meter provider (USMP). Customers of USMPs also can’t switch to Tiered prices. That decision can only be made for the building as a whole by the master consumer, who is the person that retained a USMP for the property. In most cases, the master consumer is the property manager, landlord or condominium board.
Can customers with energy retailers switch pricing plans?
No, customers that are buying their electricity from an energy retailer pay the electricity price set out in their contract. Once they have left their retail contract, they will have a choice between paying TOU or Tiered prices. For details about your energy contract, contact your energy retailer.
I receive a monthly credit from the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) and the Ontario Energy Rebate (OER). Will I lose those credits if I switch to Tiered prices?
No. You will still receive both credits.
I am about to sign up with a new electricity utility. Will the utility inform me that I have a choice between TOU or Tiered prices before I sign up?
Yes. Renfrew Hydro will inform all new Regulated Price Plan customers that they have a choice between TOU or Tiered prices when they set up the account.