UNDERSTANDING YOUR SERVICE TYPE Your service type is also known as your rate classification. Identifying which service type you are in will help you identify which rates and charges apply to you and also help you to better understand your bill
Service types are determined by the kind of electricity service as well as by density – how many customers there are in the area and the number of customers per kilometre of line. The more customers there are in your area, the lower the cost to serve you.
What is my service type?
To determine your service type, please check page two on your bill. Below is an example of a residential customer with a low density.
How are service types assigned?
We base delivery rates for each service type on the cost of delivering electricity to that type of customers and meeting their electricity supply needs. We divided our residential service area into three service types:
- Urban high density zone - Customers classified as Residential Urban High Density are year-round residences in an urban high-density zone, which is an area that contains 3,000 or more customers, with at least 60 customers for every kilometer of power line used to supply energy in the zone
- Medium density zone - Customers classified as Residential Medium Density are year-round residences in a medium-density zone, which is an area that contains 100 or more customers, with at least 15 customers for every kilometer of power line used to supply energy in the zone.
- Low density zone - Customers classified as Residential Low Density are year-round residences in a low-density zone, which is an area not covered by Urban or Medium zones. Customers in this service type receive Rural or Remote Rate Protection (RRRP), which is a credit of $60.50 that is applied to the monthly distribution service charge. Customers will not see this credit shown on their bill. It is included under the Delivery line.
The Seasonal Residential customer classification is defined as any residential service not meeting the Residential Year-round criteria. It includes dwellings such as cottages, chalets and camps.
To qualify as a year-round residential customer:
1. You must live in this residence for at least four (4) days of the week for eight (8) months of the year and you must not reside anywhere else for more than three (3) days a week during eight (8) months of the year.
2. The address of this residence must appear on your supporting documents such as your driver's licence, credit card invoices, property tax bill, etc.
3. If you are eligible to vote in provincial or federal elections, you must be enumerated at the address of this residence.
4. In addition, you must represent and warrant that for as long as you have year-round residential
rate status for this residence you will not designate another property that you own as a year-round residence for the purpose of Hydro One's rate classification.
To assist us in determining whether you qualify as a year-round residential customer, we require you to fill out the Declaration to Apply for Year-Round Rate Status Form (aussi disponible en français) and return the completed form along with supporting documentation to us by mail, fax or email. Our addresses and fax number are available at the bottom of the form.
General Service Customers
The general service class applies to any service that does not fit the description of residential. We divided our general service area into two service types that are based on density as shown below. It is further divided into energy-billed (less than 50 kW) and demand-billed (50 kW or more) service types.
- Urban density zone - defined as areas containing 3,000 or more customers with a line density of at least 60 customers per kilometer.
- Non-urban density zone - defined as areas other than Urban Density Zone.
How is a service type review done?
1. We use our geographic information system (GIS) to identify and mark the boundaries of core clusters of customers.
2. Once density zone boundaries are marked, we extended out the customer cluster boundary in all directions to easily identifiable physical or geographical boundaries, such as roads, railways, rivers, or lakes or non-physical boundaries identifiable within the GIS system such as property lines, where physical boundaries are remotely located from customer clusters.
3. Customer clusters located close to each other are combined into a larger, single density zone.
4. We determine the kilometres of distribution line within a proposed density zone boundary and calculate the number of customers per kilometre of line.
5. And lastly, we confirm the density zone definition applicable to the total number of customers and customers per kilometre for a proposed density zone boundary.
The example below shows a customer cluster that results in identifying a medium density zone (100 or more customers with a line density of at least 15 customers per kilometre). We classified all residential customers located in the shaded boundary as having a medium density. Residential customers not included in this boundary are classified as having a low density.
Why are delivery rates based on density?
It costs less for electrical utilities to provide service to customers who live in highly populated communities versus sparsely populated areas where customers are spread out over a large area and need more infrastructures such as poles, wires and transformers to serve them.
Our rates reflect our cost to serve you and are approved by the Ontario Energy Board. We have a very rural customer base, which means that on average, we serve about 10 customers per kilometre of line. As a comparison, Toronto Hydro serves on average 73 customers per kilometre of line.
How often will service type reviews occur?
If you are aware of a new residential development(s) which have been completed in your area that may change your service type, simply email us at CustomerCommunications@HydroOne.com or call us toll-free at 1-888-664-9376 (7:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. EST, Monday to Friday). We will verify the density zone and service type for your area. We are here to help.
Hydro One will proactively update our service type review on a province-wide basis by 2018.
Will a change in service type affect the other rates and charges that I pay?
Yes, as a result of a change in service type, your delivery rates would change. In addition, the adjustment factor used for line losses is different for each service type. We use the adjustment factor to calculate the Delivery and Regulatory Charges lines on your bill.
Customers who are seeing a delivery rate reduction because of moving to a new service type will also see a slight reduction to the Regulatory Charges line on their bill.
How will I be notified if my service type is changing?
If your service type is changing, we will notify you by mail to advise you of your new service type.