Much of the electricity system was built in the 1950s and we have a plan to keep our system safe and reliable, while managing costs. Prudent investments in the distribution system are needed in almost every community to keep the public safe, reduce power outages and offset the need for more expensive emergency repairs.


Why we filed a 5-year Distribution Rate Application

icon of an old transmission tower

1 in 4 transformers have reached their expected service life.

icon of a transmission tower

17% of wood poles have reached their expected service life.

icon of a transformer

Modest Investments today will help offset costly emergency work.


Focusing on the most essential investments

A safe and reliable distribution system is essential to supporting strong and successful communities.

We know every dollar we invest comes at a cost to our customers and the people of Ontario, which is why we are driving efficiencies to cut costs and focusing on only the most essential investments to keep the system safe, the power on and costs as low as possible. We will invest each dollar in a way that will have the greatest benefit to customers and communities.

Modest investments in the system today will help protect the public, maintain reliability and offset far more costly repair, maintenance and emergency work in the future.

Our role in Ontario's electricity system

Our transmission and distribution system safely and reliably serves communities throughout Ontario. Distribution rates pay for the cost for Hydro One to operate and maintain the low-voltage system that carries electricity from our transformer stations to distribution stations, to pole-top transformers through power lines, and into homes and businesses.

infographic: Electricity System in Ontario infographic: Electricity System in Ontario

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a distribution rate?

The distribution rate appears on your bill as part of the “Delivery” line and is the only part of your bill Hydro One actually keeps. We use it to cover all the equipment that brings power into your home: lines, forestry, stations, customer service, storm response and maintaining the system.


Why are you asking for a distribution rate increase?

We know that every dollar we spend comes from our customers.

The challenge we face is that Ontario’s power equipment is aging. In fact, some of our poles have been around for 80 years and approximately 400,000 poles have either reached their expected service life, or will within the next five years.

As Ontario grows, our equipment needs to keep up. We need to invest in the electricity system now to continue providing safe and reliable power in Ontario.

How will this increase affect my bill? What about the Fair Hydro Plan?

What is Hydro One going to use this money for?

Our application outlines Hydro One’s plans over the next five years, including:

  • Replacing more than 72,000 poles

  • Refurbishing 15 transformer stations on average every year

  • Maintaining almost 13,000 km of forestry rights-of-way

  • Built-in productivity savings of $380 million.

But we also owe it to our customers to ensure we are investing strategically. That's why we will also improve our own efficiency and ensure our spending focuses on the poles, lines and stations that need it most.


What charges are included in the Delivery line?

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) sets delivery rates. Some of the delivery charges are "fixed" and do not change no matter how much electricity you use, while other charges vary depending on how much electricity you use.

Delivery charges include:

  • Distribution flat charge: A fixed charge for costs related to meter reading, billing, customer service and account maintenance, and for general utility operations.

  • Distribution volume charge: A variable charge for the cost of building and maintaining the distribution system, including overhead and underground power lines, poles and transformer stations.

  • Smart metering entity charge: A fixed charge that is collected on behalf of the IESO.

  • Transmission rates: A variable charge to pay the cost to operate and maintain the high voltage system that carries electricity from generating stations to local electric utilities or large industrial customers such, as manufacturers and mines.

  • Line loss adjustment: It is normal for a small amount of power to be lost as it travels over power lines to your home or business. In calculating your electricity costs for the billing period, Hydro One or your local electric utility multiplies your electricity cost by an adjustment factor that accounts for those losses. This adjustment factor is approved by the OEB.

Who and where do you serve?

Hydro One is Ontario's largest electricity transmission and distribution provider. We supply local electricity service providers around the province as well as 1.3 million residential and business customers in suburban, rural, northern, remote, First Nations and Métis communities. We proudly serve customers across 640,000 square kilometres, using 30,000 kilometres of high-voltage transmission lines, 123,000 kilometres of local power lines and 1.6 million poles – that means we have more poles than customers. That's why it costs more to serve our customers than other utilities in the province.

Were there any opportunities for me to have a say in the process?

The Ontario Energy Board held community meetings at seven different locations across the Province between June and July 2017 that were open for the public to attend to discuss and review our current rate application. They also held a province-wide Telemeeting on July 12, 2017 to listen to feedback from our customers.


More Information

For more information about our 2018-22 Distribution Rate Application, please click on the buttons below.


Contact Us

We're here to answer any questions you may have about our Distribution Rate Application.

Speak with someone directly

Our Customer Contact Centre is open Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. To serve you better, we're also open on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Call us at 1-888-664-9376.