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The Ontario Clean Energy BenefitThe Ontario Clean Energy Benefit

3,000 kWh cap is now in effect

The Ontario government has announced the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit will provide eligible customers a 10 per cent rebate on the total cost of electricity charges related to electricity consumption on their bills including HST, effective with electricity consumed January 1, 2011. This rebate will be in effect for five years until December 31, 2015.

The Ontario government has recently revised the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit Act, 2010, which may affect the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit rebate that you receive on your bill. Effective September 1, 2012, the government is limiting the 10 per cent rebate on electricity bills to the first 3,000 kWh of electricity used a month.

The Ontario Clean Energy Benefit will continue to provide a full 10 per cent benefit to almost all residential customers, as a typical household of four uses, on average, 800 kWh per month.

These changes to the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit are allowing the government to manage the needs of electricity customers while also managing the fiscal implications of providing electricity price relief.

The government estimates Ontarians will be faced with increases in home electricity costs over the next five years to pay for much needed electricity system upgrades. The Ontario Clean Energy Benefit will help customers manage the rising cost of electricity.

Who is eligible for the rebate?

The following customers are eligible:

  • Residential and seasonal customers
  • Farm customers who have either a valid Farm Business Registration (FBR) Number or an Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs Appeals Tribunal exemption from obtaining a number.
  • Bulk-metered multi unit premises 
  • Small business customers (general service energy-billed with less than 50 kW demand) as long as they do not use more than 250,000 kWh annually. An annual assessment will be done each year to ensure customers meet the threshold qualifications.

Customers eligible for the Regulated Price Plan (RPP) two-tiered prices and Time-of-Use (TOU) prices are eligible for this rebate. In addition, retailer enrolled customers and customers paying the spot market price for electricity are eligible as long as they would otherwise be RPP eligible.

Households in which a person resides who uses medical equipment that requires electricity that has been prescribed by a health practitioner will be exempt from the 3,000 kWh per month limit provided a declaration form is returned to us.

Farm customers not receiving the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit will need to complete and return a Large Volume Farm Business Declaration Form in order to qualify for the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit.

Bulk-Metered Multi-Unit premises that have not completed a declaration form should complete the attached declaration form and send it to us as soon as possible in order to qualify for the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit.

For more information, go to www.ontario.ca/energyplan or call 1-888-668-4636.

Frequently Asked Questions  

How is the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit changing?
Effective on an after September 1, 2012, eligible customers who use more than 3,000 kWh of electricity per month continue to receive the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit rebate on the first 3,000 kWh per month used.

The Ontario Clean Energy Benefit will continue to provide a full 10 per cent rebate to almost all residential customers, as a typical household of four people uses, on average, 800 kWh of electricity per month. This typical household continues to save about $190 annually through the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit.

Why were changes made to the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit?
Changes to the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit allow the government to manage the needs of electricity customers and the fiscal implications of providing electricity price relief. The 3,000 kWh per month cap, which applies to electricity used on and after September 1, 2012, will save the government about $500 million over the remainder of the program, while still providing a full 10 per cent credit on electricity bills for the majority of eligible residential customers.

When does the cap come into effect?
The cap comes into effect for electricity used on and after September 1, 2012 as announced in the 2012 Ontario Budget. The cap comes into effect on bills issued on or after September 20, 2012.

Are there any exemptions from the cap?
A medical exemption from the 3,000 kWh per month cap is available for accounts where a person living at the premises uses medical equipment that requires electricity and has been prescribed by a health practitioner.

How does the medical exemption work?
The medical exemption for the 3,000 kWh per month cap is available for accounts where a person living at the premises uses medical equipment that requires electricity and has been prescribed by a health practitioner. In order to qualify for the medical exemption, a declaration form for the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit must be completed and returned to us.

I use more than 3,000 kWh per month. Do I still receive the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit rebate?
Eligible customers who use more than 3,000 kWh per month will continue to receive benefits on the first 3,000 kWh of electricity used per month. The introduction of the cap, effective for electricity used on and after September 1, 2012, has not changed eligibility for the program and all residential customers, farms and small businesses will continue to qualify for the rebate.

How will the 3,000 kWh cap be applied for customers who receive bills every two or three months?
The 3,000 kWh per month cap will be adjusted based on your billing cycle. If the billing cycle is:

  • Monthly, the cap will be 3,000 kWh per billing period
  • Every two months, the cap will be 6,000 kWh per billing period
  • Every three months, the cap will be 9,000 kWh per billing period.

How will the cap work in a multi-unit complex such as an apartment building or condo? Will the entire building be limited to 3,000 kWh per month?
If an individual lives in a multi-unit complex and is billed directly by us, he/she will have a cap of 3,000 kWh per month.

If an individual lives in a multi-unit complex and does not receive a bill directly from us, the cap for the multi-unit complex the individual lives in will be calculated by multiplying the 3,000 kWh per month cap by the total number of units in the complex. 

How does Hydro One know the number of units in a multi-unit complex for the purpose of calculating the monthly cap?
Buildings where units are not individually metered by us will need to provide a declaration form to us indicating the number of units contained within the building in order to increase their cap above the 3,000 kWh per month threshold.

Many buildings will have already provided us with a declaration outlining the number of units in the building to qualify for the Regulated Price Plan, and may be able to rely on this existing declaration.

Buildings that have individually metered units will not have to declare the number of units in the building to us.

How is my rebate calculated if September 1, 2012, the date the cap comes into effect, falls within a billing period?
The 3,000 kWh per month Ontario Clean Energy Benefit cap is effective for electricity used on and after September 1, 2012. If September 1, 2012 falls within your billing period, we will apportion the amount of electricity used before September 1, 2012 and the remaining amount used on and after this date. The cap will only apply to the portion of electricity used on and after September 1, 2012.

What is the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit?
The Ontario Clean Energy Benefit will help residential customers and small businesses manage rising electricity bills as we transition to a cleaner, modern electricity system. The government has announced this benefit will result in a 10 per cent reduction on the total electricity bill, including HST. The benefit will be in effect for five years beginning January 1, 2011. Effective September 1, 2012, the rebate for eligible customers will be limited to the first 3,000 kWh of electricity used per month.

Why am I not receiving the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit on my bill?
If you are classified as a residential or a seasonal customer you should be automatically receiving the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit on your bill.

If you are a general service energy-billed customer with a demand less than 50 kW and not using more than 250,000 kWh a year you should be automatically receiving the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit on your bill. An annual assessment will be done each year to ensure that you continue to meet the threshold qualifications. If you exceed the threshold noted above your account will no longer be eligible for the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit.

If you are actively engaged in the business of farming and you have a valid Farm Business Registration (FBR) Number or an Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs Appeals Tribunal exemption from obtaining a number you are eligible for the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit. You will need to complete and return to us the Large Volume Farm Business Declaration Form in order to receive the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit on your bill.

If you have a bulk-metered multi unit premises, you will need to complete and return to us the Bulk-Metered Multi-Unit Declaration Form in order to receive the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit on your bill.

If you have any questions regarding eligibility, please call the number that is listed on your Hydro One bill or send us an email at Customer.Communications@HydroOne.com.

I am a general service customer. What happens if my usage rises above 50 kW or 250,000 kWh a year?
You will no longer be eligible for the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit if your usage rises above 50 kW and/or you use more than 250,000 kWh in a calendar year. Each year we will need to assess if our general service customers are eligible for the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit based on their historical consumption.

What charges are included in the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit?
The Ontario Clean Energy Benefit applies a 10 per cent rebate to the following charges: Electricity, Delivery, Regulatory Charges, the Debt Retirement Charge, Global Adjustment (if applicable) and HST. Effective September 1, 2012, the rebate for eligible customers will be limited to the first 3,000 kWh of electricity used per month.

What charges are not included in the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit?
The Ontario Clean Energy Benefit does not apply to late payment charges, security deposits, new account set-up charge, past due charges, and rental charges (e.g. sentinel light rental, pole rental, etc.).

How much will I save with the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit?
The Ontario Clean Energy Benefit is a 10 per cent reduction on your total electricity charges, including HST. Effective September 1, 2012, the rebate for eligible customers will be limited to the first 3,000 kWh of electricity used per month.

An average Residential - Medium Density customer using 800 kWh will see a reduction of about $16 a month.

Where will the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit appear on my bill?
It will appear as a separate line item on your bill. The line item is “Ontario Clean Energy Benefit:10% off applicable electricity charges and taxes” and it will appear below the “Total of your electricity charges” line item. In addition, there will be a “New total of your electricity charges” line item showing the net charges after applying the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit.

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