Electricity impacts many aspects of our lives, whether you are operating appliances, charging an electric vehicle, or working on your home computer...where would we be without electricity? Can you imagine?
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.
With TOU, 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.
Considering Switching to Tiered Pricing?
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.
Log into MyLondonHydro to see the comparison
You can now compare TOU to Tiered electricity price plans directly in your MyLondonHydro account. Log in today to choose which plan is best for you.
If you want to continue paying TOU prices, no action is required. If you would like to learn more about your pricing options, visit www.oeb.ca/choice.
Need help deciding on which is best for you? Try the Ontario Energy Board's Online Comparison Calculator
To switch from TOU to Tiered prices, you can notify us by completing an election form or by contacting us at (519) 661-5503, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am - 4 pm.
Residential Electricity Rates
Commercial Electricity Rates
Electricity Rates FAQs
What is Time-of-Use (TOU) Customer Choice?
If you’re a residential or small business customer that pays TOU electricity prices, you can choose to switch to Tiered prices beginning November 1, 2020.
If you want to continue paying TOU prices, no action is required.
To switch from TOU to Tiered prices, you must notify London Hydro by completing an election form. London Hydro will begin accepting election forms on October 13, 2020. There is no deadline. You can ask to switch at any time.
Since June 1, 2020, customers on TOU have been paying a fixed electricity price of 12.8 ¢/kWh for all hours of the day (known as the COVID-19 Recovery Rate) which the government put in place as part of the its response to the COVID pandemic. This fixed price ends on October 31, 2020. On November 1, 2020 the TOU prices approved by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) will replace the fixed price.
What are TOU prices?
With TOU prices, the price depends on when you use electricity.
There are three TOU price periods:
- Off-peak, when demand for electricity is lowest. This price applies in the evenings on weekdays and all day on weekends.
Every household and small business is different, but on average, Ontario households use nearly two thirds of their electricity 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 the busier times of day – generally when people are cooking, starting up their computers and running heaters or air conditioners.
With TOU pricing, you can help manage your electricity costs by shifting your usage to lower price periods when possible.
People use electricity differently depending on the season, so the TOU price periods are different in the summer (May 1 to October 31) than they are in the winter (November 1 to April 30).
What are 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. Although May to October 2020 has been an exception due to COVID-19, 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. The Tier threshold for small business customers 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.
What do TOU and Tiered prices pay for?
The OEB sets TOU and Tiered prices based on a forecast of how much it will cost to supply TOU and Tiered customers with the electricity they are expected to use over the next 12 months. The OEB sets TOU and Tiered prices to recover the same forecast average cost of supply.
The OEB sets both TOU and Tiered 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.
How often are TOU and Tiered prices set?
The OEB typically sets new TOU and Tiered prices for May and November, based on an estimate of how much it will cost to supply residential and small business customers on the Regulated Price Plan with the electricity that they are expected to use.
Will I save money by opting out of TOU prices?
There is no guarantee you will save money if you switch from TOU to Tiered prices. The total bill impact of switching will vary depending on how much electricity you consume in a month and when it is consumed during the day.
Considering a switch to Tiered prices? For more information, go to www.oeb.ca/choice.
What do I need to do to switch to Tiered prices?
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, here are the rules that apply. These rules also apply if you later want to switch back to TOU prices.
- Starting October 13, 2020, London Hydro will make its election form <link form when available> available on its website, and to any customer that requests it. You’ll need to fill out the election form to notify London Hydro that you want to switch. You should have a recent electricity bill on hand when filling out the form, as you will need your utility account number.
- Within 10 business days of receiving your election form, London 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, London Hydro has the same 10 business days to let you know when you can expect to start being billed on Tiered prices.
- A switch from TOU to Tiered prices 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.
- London Hydro will start charging you Tiered prices as of your next billing period after you submit your election form if London 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 London Hydro receives your complete election form less than 10 business days before the start of your next billing period, London Hydro might still be able to switch you for your next billing period. But if London Hydro can’t do so, London Hydro has to start charging you Tiered prices 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 Tiered prices.
- Even if you provide your election form to London Hydro before the end of October, you’ll very likely pay TOU prices for at least some period of time – between November 1 and the time when your next complete billing period starts (or the billing period after that, depending on when you provide your election form).
If I have opted into Tiered prices, can I switch back to TOU prices?
Yes. And the rules that apply to switching to Tiered prices also apply if you later want to switch back to TOU prices.
Can all customers opt out of TOU prices?
Any customer on TOU may opt out and pay Tiered prices instead
Customers who are currently paying Tiered prices can’t switch to TOU prices at this time because their meters can’t be used to bill TOU prices.
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 or Tiered prices before I sign up?
Yes. London Hydro is required to inform all new Regulated Price Plan customers that they have a choice between TOU or Tiered prices when they set up the account.