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 us by completing an election form. We will begin accepting election forms on October 13, 2020. There is no deadline and you can ask to switch at any time.
What do TOU and Tiered prices pay for?
The Ontario Energy Board (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?
No, there are no guarantees that a switch from TOU rates to Tiered rates will result in cost savings.
What Customer Choice does is give you the ability to choose a plan that best fits your lifestyle and household energy needs, which may result in some cost savings depending on your electricity consumption behaviours. 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 oeb.ca/choice and use our bill calculator to compare what your bill might look like if you switched from TOU to Tiered pricing.
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, Welland Hydro will make the Customer Choice: RPP Election Form available to any customer that requests it. We will accept Customer Choice: RPP Election Forms via our online submission form, email or mail. You will need to fill out the Customer Choice: RPP Election Form to notify us 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.
- Within 10 business days of receiving your election form, Welland Hydro will process your form and respond to you.
- 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.
- Welland Hydro will start charging you your elected price structure as of your next billing period after you submit your election form. Please note that we must receive your election form at least 10 business days before that billing period starts, and provided there are no issues with your form.
- If we receive your complete election form less than 10 business days before the start of your next billing period, we will start charging you your elected price structure 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 your elected price structure.
- Even if you provide your election form 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, as your new price structure can’t appear on a bill where the start date of the usage period is prior to November 1, 2020).
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.
Customers who are currently enrolled with an electricity retailer are not able to switch to TOU or Tiered rates as long as their retail contract remains in effect. In addition, customers who are currently paying Tiered prices may not be able switch to TOU prices at this time if their meters are unable to bill TOU prices.
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 a new customer with Welland Hydro. Will you inform me that I have a choice between TOU or Tiered prices before I sign up?
Yes, we inform all new Regulated Price Plan customers that they have a choice between TOU or Tiered prices when they set up the account.
I’m still not sure what is right for me
If you are still unsure if a switch in price structure is right for you, check out the following resources to help you decide.
The Ontario Energy Board has more information available at oeb.ca/choice. In addition, check out their new bill calculator at oeb.ca/calculator which will give you a comparison of what your bill might look like if you switched from TOU to Tiered pricing.
As time goes on, Welland Hydro will continue to make materials available to assist you in making your choice. Please check back often for updates.
Ready to Make the Change?
Have you decided that a change in price structure is right for you? If so, submit your Customer Choice: RPP Election Form below.