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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.

To switch from TOU to Tiered prices, you will need to notify Oakville Hydro either by completing an election form (click here or visit Declare Your Choice for TOU or Tiered below), or by contacting us at customerservice@oakvillehydro.com or 905-825-9400 (Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.).

Oakville Hydro will begin accepting election forms on October 13, 2020.

You may wish to continue paying TOU prices for your electricity. In that case, no action is required.


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With TOU prices, the price depends on when you use electricity. You can help manage your electricity costs by shifting your usage to lower price periods when possible. There are three TOU periods:
    
  • Off-peak:When demand for electricity is lowest. Ontario households use most of their electricity - nearly two thirds of it - during off-peak hours.
  • 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 busier times of day - generally when people are cooking, starting up their computers and running heaters or air conditioners.

 

People use electricity differently depending on the season, so the TOU price periods are different in the winter than they are in the summer.

To learn more about managing costs with TOU prices, visit the Ontario Energy Board website at this link.

To learn more about understanding your TOU bill, visit our website at this link.

 


About 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. 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. 

For small business customers, the Tier threshold 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.

For more information about Tiered rates, visit the Ontario Energy Board website at this link.

To learn more about understanding your Tiered bill, visit our website at this link.


Switching Rates?

Are you thinking about opting out of TOU prices in favour of Tiered prices? Here are a few things to consider. 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.

  • 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. 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. 
  • 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 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. 


Bill Calculator

Using a bill calculator is helpful when determining which rate plan is best for you. 

The Ontario Energy Board offers a bill calculator that requires account information. The easiest way to access those details is to visit MyOakvilleHydro. Sign in or register for MyOakvilleHydro at this link.

Click this link to access the Ontario Energy Board bill calculator.


Declare Your Choice for TOU or Tiered

To declare your choice, you can use an online form or contact Customer Service directly.

  • Online Form – Fill out the online form at this link and submit it to Oakville Hydro at customerservice@oakvillehydro.com
  • Customer Service – If you require assistance completing the form, please contact a Customer Service Representative at 905-825-9400 (Monday to Friday, 8:30a.m. to 4:30p.m.)

Questions?

Please do not hesitate to contact Customer Service at customerservice@oakvillehydro.com or 905-825-9400 (Monday to Friday, 8:30a.m. to 4:30p.m.).

Click to learn answers to frequently asked questions related to Customer Choice.


Rules for Customer Choice

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, there are rules that apply. These rules also apply if you want to switch back to TOU prices. For more information, click this link.




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