If you’re a residential or small business customer, you can choose to switch between Tiered, Time-of-Use (TOU) and Ultra-Low Overnight (ULO) prices. If you recently switched price plans but want to switch again, you can do that too.
With TOU and ULO, the price you pay depends on when you use electricity. With Tiered prices, you can use a certain amount of electricity each month at a lower price. Once that limit is exceeded, a higher price applies.
To switch between price plans, you will need to notify Oakville Hydro either by:
- Logging into MyOakvilleHydro, clicking ‘Choose your Electricity Price Plan' and then 'Switch Price Plan Now' (and follow the prompts)
- Completing an election form and emailing the completed election form to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Or you can simply contact our customer service department at 905-825-9400, Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
A switch to a different pricing plan takes effect at the start of a service period. Depending on when you apply, it may be retroactive to the start of your current service period. For information on how to determine when your next service period will start, click this link.
You may wish to continue paying your current electricity pricing plan. In that case, no action is required.
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. 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.
TOU and ULO Prices
With TOU and ULO 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.
With TOU, there are three price 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.
With ULO, there are four price periods:
- Ultra-Low Overnight: When demand for electricity is lowest on average.
- Weekend Off-peak: When demand for electricity is generally lower.
- Mid-peak: When demand for electricity is moderate.
- On-peak: When demand for electricity is highest on average.
With ULO, the price periods remain the same all year round. The TOU price periods, however, are different in the winter than they are in the summer.
Are you thinking about switching your electricity price plan? 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. Most of the information you will need is on the Electricity line of your bill.
- Your price plan – Do you know your electricity pricing plan? 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.
- Don't guess, calculate – Power is personal. Depending on how much electricity you use and when you use it, one price plan may suit you better than the others. Use this calculator to see what your total bill would look like under Time-of-Use (TOU), Ultra-Low Overnight (ULO) and Tiered prices, taking into account the other rates charged.
Seasonal changes and time of year – As described above, the 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.
- 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.
Please do not hesitate to contact Customer Service at email@example.com or 905-825-9400 (Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM).