Earlier this month, the Ontario Ministry of Energy posted two
notices about regulatory amendments being proposed to implement the
Fair Hydro Plan announced by Premier Wynne. As
discussed earlier, the Fair Hydro Plan aims to reduce Ontario
electricity bills by 25% through a series of measures, including
eliminating the provincial portion of HST; extending the payback
period for items within the Global Adjustment; and funding certain
support programs from tax revenues rather than rates.
The Fair Hydro Plan also proposes measures to benefit certain
groups of consumers with amendments to existing programs. Two of
these items are addressed in the recent notices in Ontario's
The notice titled "Regulatory amendments to O. Reg. 314/15
(Ontario Electricity Support Program)" sets out proposed
increases to the credits available under the OESP. As we
described earlier, the OESP provides financial assistance to
low-income consumers, with higher amounts available for consumers
whose homes are electrically heated. Under the proposed changes,
the credits available to qualifying consumers would increase by
50%, and the threshold for eligibility would be lowered in some
cases. There may also be changes to align eligibility for OESP with
other provincial low-income social programs.
The notice titled "Expansion of the Industrial Conservation
Initiative (ICI)" sets out the proposed changes to make
the ICI available to more energy intensive consumers. The ICI is a
program that permits eligible "Class A" electricity
consumers to pay Global Adjustment costs based on their
proportional share of electricity demand during the five
highest-peak hours of the year rather than based on their overall
consumption. Therefore, if these consumers are able to temper their
consumption of electricity from the grid during those high-demand
periods (for example, through self-generation or conservation/load
shifting), then they can achieve substantial savings. The proposed
changes to the ICI will lower the eligibility threshold from an
average monthly demand of 3MW to an average monthly demand of 1MW.
For those consumers in the manufacturing sector, the eligibility
threshold will be reduced to 500kW. The notice indicates that the
proposed changes will be effective as of July 1, 2017.
Comments on both of the Regulatory Registry notices are due by
April 8, 2017.
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