Customer Choice - Q & A
What is Customer Choice?
If you’re a residential or small business electricity customer, you can choose to switch between Time-of-Use (TOU), Ultra-Low Overnight (ULO) and Tiered prices.
What do electricity plan rates pay for?
The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) sets electricity plan prices based on a forecast of how much it will cost to supply Ontario customers with the electricity they are expected to use over the next 12 months. The OEB sets electricity plan prices to recover the same forecast average cost of supply.
The OEB sets 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.
Will I save money by opting out of a price plan?
There is no guarantee you will save money, regardless of the electricity price plan you select. The total bill impact of switching from one plan to another will vary depending on how much electricity you consume in a month and when it is consumed during the day.
Considering a switch? For more information, go to www.oeb.ca/choice and use the OEB bill calculator to compare what your bill might look like if you switch price plans.
What do I need to do to switch to switch price plans?
You do not have to switch your price plan. Taking no action means you will continue to be billed on your current price plan.
If you do want to switch, here are the rules that apply:
- You will need to fill out an election form and email the completed election form to firstname.lastname@example.org to notify Oakville 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 should have a recent electricity bill on hand when filling out the form, as you will need your utility account number. You can also log into MyOakvilleHydro, click ‘Choose your Electricity Price Plan' and then 'Switch Price Plan Now' (and follow the prompts).
- Oakville Hydro must make its election form available on its website, and to any customer that requests it. Oakville Hydro must accept election forms by email or mail at a minimum.
- Within 10 business days of receiving your election form, Oakville Hydro will tell you if your election form can’t 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, Oakville Hydro has the same 10 business days to let you know when you can expect to start being billed on on the new price plan.
- A switch to a different price plan 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. Many customers are not billed based on a calendar month, and the start of your billing period can be any given day of a month.
- Oakville Hydro will start charging you on your new price plan as of your next billing period after you submit your election form if Oakville 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 Oakville Hydro receives your complete election form less than 10 business days before the start of your next billing period, Oakville Hydro might still be able to switch you for your next billing period. But if Oakville Hydro can’t do so, Oakville Hydro has to start charging you on your new pricing plan 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 on your new price plan.
If I have opted into Tiered prices, can I switch back to TOU prices or switch to ULO prices?
Can all customers opt out of TOU prices?
Any customer on TOU may opt out and pay Tiered prices instead. If you were paying Tiered prices prior to November 1, 2023, it means that your meter can’t be used to bill TOU prices and you can’t switch to TOU prices at this time. Please contact Oakville Hydro with any questions.
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.
I receive a monthly credit from the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP). Will I lose that credit if I switch to Tiered prices?
No. You will still receive the credit.
I receive the Ontario Electricity Rebate. Will I lose that rebate if I switch to Tiered prices?
No. You will still receive the credit.
I am about to sign up with a new electricity utility. Will the utility inform me that I have a choice between TOU, ULO or Tiered prices before I sign up?
Yes. All electricity utilities in Ontario are required to inform all new Regulated Price Plan customers that they have a choice between TOU, ULO or Tiered prices when they set up the account.