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 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.