The Ontario government will roll back electricity prices as it locks down the province.
Premier Doug Ford announced Tuesday that households, small businesses and farm customers will pay a flat electricity rate of 8.5 cents per kilowatt-hour for four weeks starting Jan. 1.
“This rate is actually lower than the temporary discounted rate we introduced back in March during the first wave (of e COVID-19,)” Ford said.
“After months of this pandemic, we know people need that extra help, especially during winter.”
The new rate, lower than the flat 10.1 cents per kilowatt-hour offered from March to May, will automatically take effect on Jan. 1 for time-of-use and tiered rate electricity customers on regulated rates.
Ontario time-of-use customers currently pay 10.5¢/kWh for off-peak power, 15¢/kWh for mid-peak power and 21.7¢/kWh for peak power.
Associate Energy Minister Bill Walker said people will be staying home during the lockdown and using more electricity.
“At a time like this the last thing people need is to worry about their electricity bills,” Walker said.
The COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) will also be expanded to more families, businesses and registered charities, he said.
“If you’re behind on your electricity or natural gas bill, then you’ll be eligible to start applying in January,” Walker said. “A residential customer who’s behind in their bill can receive up to $750 per fuel type, natural gas or electricity.”
A small business would be eligible for up to $1,500, he said.
Information on the government’s various energy price initiatives can be found online at https://www.ontario.ca/page/find-programs-reduce-electricity-bill.