FAQs on the OER

Have a question about the Ontario Electricity Rebate (OER)?

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How are electricity bills changing in November 2019?

Prior to November 1, 2019, residential, farm and most small business electricity consumers received a reduction on their bill that was built into the price of electricity.

Effective November 1, 2019, the Ontario government is replacing the built-in reduction and the previous 8 percent Provincial Rebate with the Ontario Electricity Rebate (OER). This new 31.8 percent rebate does not have an expiry date.

Electricity rates will now display the full un-subsidized per-kilowatt-hour price of electricity so that they once again closely reflect the forecast cost of supply.

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) regulates the province’s energy sector and sets these rates. Prices are reviewed by the OEB every six months to determine if they need to be adjusted.

These changes in legislation that were introduced under the Ontario Rebate for Electricity Consumers Act, 2016, will allow consumers to see the true cost of electricity and the full value of the OER on their bill.

If you are eligible for the OER, it will be introduced as a single line item on your bill.

Will electricity bills be higher because of these changes?

Yes, consumers will see the electricity line on their bill increase. However, the OER will largely offset that price change.

Who is eligible to receive the OER?

Eligible consumers include most households, many small businesses consumers, farms, long-term care homes and some multi-unit complexes if they meet certain criteria.

Residential consumers and small businesses don’t need to apply for the OER. The rebate will automatically appear on their bill. 

How is the OER calculated and what charges are included?

The rebate is calculated on the base amount of the electricity bill, prior to applying Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).

The base amount includes the electricity charge, delivery charge, and regulatory charge. It will exclude additional charges that may appear on bills such as late payment charges, or the provision of other services.

How much is it worth for consumers?

The OER will reduce the pre-HST costs on consumers’ electricity bills by 31.8%.

When will Hydro Ottawa customers see these changes on their electricity bills?

Depending on billing cycles, Hydro Ottawa customers will see changes to their Hydro Ottawa electricity bill as early as mid-November 2019.

Will everyone who was eligible for the previous 8% Provincial Rebate remain eligible for the OER?

Most ratepayers who were eligible for the 8% rebate will be eligible for the OER.

Certain types of large-volume multi-unit complexes will be ineligible for the OER, including hospitals, universities, colleges and any multi-unit complexes that have fewer than 50% residential units (as provided for under regulation), such as a large commercial building.

Any consumers who were previously receiving the 8% rebate but are not eligible for the OER under the new rules will be provided with up to a one-year grace period if they meet certain notice requirements.

Who needs to apply for the OER?

Most eligible consumers will receive the Ontario Electricity Rebate automatically, including low-volume consumers such as homes and small businesses.

However, there are notice requirements in place for larger multi-unit complexes and certain consumers who were previously receiving the 8% Provincial Rebate, but are not eligible for the new Ontario Electricity Rebate.

What are the Notice requirements?

There are certain notice requirements in place for previously eligible accounts who were receiving the 8% Provincial Rebate, but who are not eligible for the OER. These accounts will receive the OER through October 31, 2020, as long as they submit the Ontario Electricity Rebate Self Declaration Form to Hydro Ottawa by January 31, 2020.

If this form is not received by January 31, 2020, these accounts will no longer receive the Ontario Electricity Rebate as of February 1, 2020.

Where Can I find the OER Self-Declaration form?

Hydro Ottawa’s OER Self-Declaration Form is available at hydroottawa.com/oer.

If you have questions regarding notice requirements, please contact us by email at [email protected]. You can also contact the Ontario Energy Board.

Need more information?

Further information about the Ontario Electricity Rebate is available on the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines Website. Visit the OER page to learn more.

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) also updated its website to reflect the changes to electricity bills. Please see their Understanding Your Electricity Bill page for more information.