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Understanding Your Service Type


Your service type (also known as rate class) identifies which delivery rates apply to you. Delivery rates (shown under the Delivery line on your bill) are made up of the following:

  • a fixed monthly service charge that does not change no matter how much electricity you use each month

  • and charges that vary based on how much electricity you use, which include:

    • a distribution volume charge

    • retail transmission rates.
       

What is my service type?


To determine your service type (also known as rate class), please check page two on your bill. Below is an example of a residential customer with a medium density.
Bill closeup image

 

How are service types assigned?

Residential Customers

We base delivery rates for each service type (also known as rate class) on the cost of delivering electricity to that type of customer and meeting their electricity supply needs. We divide our residential service area into three rate zones:


1. 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 kilometre of power line used to supply energy in the zone.
 

2. 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 kilometre of power line used to supply energy in the zone. As part of the Fair Hydro Plan, customers in this service type will have the distribution service charge and distribution volume charge capped at $36.86 per month. These charges are included under the Delivery line.
 

3. 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 high or medium zones. Customers in this rate class receive rural or remote rate protection, which is a credit of $60.50, that's applied to the distribution service charge. Customers won't see this credit shown on their bill. As well, as part of the Fair Hydro Plan, customers in this service type will have the distribution service charge and distribution volume charge capped at $36.86 per month. These charges are included under the Delivery line.


Residential Seasonal CUSTOMERS

The residential seasonal service type 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 days of the week for eight months of the year and you must not reside anywhere else for more than three days a week during eight 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're 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 won't designate another property that you own as a year-round residence for the purpose of our rate classification.


To help us in determining whether you qualify as a year-round residential customer, we require you to complete and return the Declaration to Apply for Year-Round Rate Status Form to us by mail, fax or email.

GENERAL SERVICE CUSTOMERS

The general service class applies to any service that doesn't fit the description of residential. We divided our general service area into two service types that are based on density as shown below. It's further divided into energy-billed (less than 50 kW) and demand-billed (50 kW or more) rate classes.

  • Urban density zone - defined as areas containing 3,000 or more customers with a line density of at least 60 customers per kilometre.

  • Non-urban density zone - defined as areas other than urban density zone.


Click here to see your general service rates and charges.

 

Density Review - City of Woodstock

We periodically conduct density reviews using a Geographic Information System (GIS) tool to identify clusters of customers who may require reclassification as well as verifying that customers are properly classified according to density.

Our regulator, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) directed us to conduct a density review in our 2018-22 rate application. We have now completed a province-wide density review. We'll be notifying customers who will see their service type (also known as rate class) change in February 2018.

The City of Woodstock also requested a density review of all its customers located north of Thames River. Based on this request, we conducted a density review for all customers located north of Thames River and Oxford County Road 17. The area outlined in red below has been classified as an urban high zone.


Map image

 

Frequently Asked Questions


How much will my bill change because of the density review?

How much your bill will change depends on how much electricity you use. Please see the table below to see how much a typical customer will save.

Old Rate Class
New Rate Class
Typical Monthly Use
Monthly Bill Impact
​Residential Medium Density Residential Urban High Density​ 750 kWh​ ​($6.03)
​Residential Low Density Residential Medium Density​ ​750 kWh ($1.79)​
Residential Low Density ​Residential Urban High Density 750 kWh​ ($7.82)​
​General Service Energy Urban General Service Energy​ 2,000 kWh​ ($71.65)​
​General Service Demand ​Urban General Service Demand ​35,000 kWh & 125 kW ($902.26)​

 

I'm being reclassified to low density - Will my delivery charges increase?

Customers who are being reclassified to low density from medium density will see a change to their delivery charges. Because of the Fair Hydro Plan, low and medium density customers now pay similar delivery rates and therefore this change won't significantly impact your total bill.

For a typical customer using 750 kWh per month, this change in rate class will result in an increase on your bill of about $1.79 per month. For customers who are low users of electricity, they will see a slight decrease to their bill if they use less than 400 kWh a month.

 

How did you determine my new service type?

1. First, we classify you by type of customer - for example residential, seasonal, farm or business.

2. Then we confirm the location of your home (or cottage, farm or business), and compare it with the number of customers who are near you and the power lines and other equipment that deliver power to you.

3. We count the number of electricity customers within your community or area, and length of power lines serving that area. We then follow our criteria for urban high, medium or low density, to finalize your rate classification.


How is a density 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, 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 map the kilometre of distribution line within a proposed density zone boundary and calculate the number of customers per kilometre of line. Based on this we can confirm the correct service type for customers located in the density zone boundary.


Why are delivery rates based on density?

It costs more for utilities to provide service to customers who live in 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 density reviews occur?

Our regulator, the Ontario Energy Board directed us to conduct a density review in our 2018-2022 rate application. We have now completed a province-wide density review. As a result of this review, we'll be notifying customers who will see their service type change in February 2018.

If you're aware of a new residential development(s) which has been completed in your area that may change your service type, please email us at CustomerCommunications@HydroOne.com or call us at 1-888-664-9376 (7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday). We'll be happy to verify the service type for your area.

 

Will a change in service type affect the rates and charges that I pay?

Delivery rates vary based on service type (also known as rate class). Click here to see your rates and charges. You'll need to check page two of your bill to determine your service type.

 

How will I be notified if my service type is changing?

If your service type (also known as rate class) is changing, we'll notify you of the change in service type by letter and by bill message.

 

My area has been urban high density for a number of years. Why haven't I received a retroactive refund?

Although your area may appear to be urban high density, we must complete a density review to verify this. This review has now been completed, and we've determined that the number of homes or businesses within your community qualify for a new rate service type. We can't backdate this change as we don't have any data to support when the area may have crossed the threshold for a new density classification.