This is the cost of the electricity supplied to you during a billing period and is the only part of your bill that is subject to competition.
The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) sets the Regulated Price Plan (RPP) prices based on its forecast of the cost to supply households and small businesses over the next 12 months. In addition to providing stable and predictable electricity pricing, these prices are designed to recover the payments made to the electricity generators that produce power.
The OEB monitors and will adjust future RPP rates to reflect the difference between the actual cost and their estimated cost. The OEB sets electricity rates once per year. Rates take effect on November 1 of each year.
If you leave the RPP by signing a retail contract or moving outside the province, you will either receive a credit or will need to pay a charge based on the difference between the forecasted cost included in the RPP rates you were charged and the actual price paid to generators.
As a residential customer, you have the option of buying your electricity through the Regulated Price Plan (RPP) at a regulated price per kilowatt hour (kWh) or from an electricity retailer. You are automatically part of the RPP unless you purchase your electricity from an electricity retailer.
Small business customers with a demand of less than 50 kW have the option of buying their electricity through the Regulated Price Plan (RPP) at a regulated price per kilowatt hour (kWh) or from a retailer. You are automatically part of the RPP unless you purchase your electricity from an electricity retailer.
Customer Choice is an Ontario Energy Board (OEB) initiative that allows Regulated Price Plan (RPP) customers to choose their electricity price plan. Residential and small business customers who are billed under the RPP have the opportunity to choose the electricity rate plan that best meets their energy needs and lifestyle: Time-of-use (TOU), Tiered or the new Ultra-low overnight (ULO) prices.
With Time-of-Use (TOU) prices, customers pay prices that generally reflect the relative value of electricity supply at different times of the day. There are three TOU periods – on-peak, mid-peak and off-peak. Prices are highest during on-peak, lower during mid-peak and lowest during off-peak. TOU prices encourage households and small businesses to use electricity during lower-cost time periods.
TOU prices are set to be cheapest when demand is lower: during the evenings, on weekends and on holidays. When demand is lower, most of the electricity we use comes from power sources such as nuclear generators and large hydroelectric stations. These sources, which are designed to run all of the time, are referred to as “baseload” power.
As daytime begins, more people and businesses turn on their lights, appliances and devices. As the increased demand exhausts all available baseload power, the province turns to sources that generally cost more, such as natural gas-fired plants that can be called into action quickly to meet rising demand. Renewable sources, such as solar and wind, contribute to our supply needs when they are available.
TOU price periods are different in the summer than they are in the winter.
Summer and Winter Rate Periods
TOU rate periods vary depending on whether it’s summer or winter. People use electricity differently depending on the season, so there are two sets of Time-of-Use rate periods: summer and winter.
Summer May 1 to October 31
In summer, electricity use peaks during the hottest part of the afternoon, when air conditioners are running on high. On-peak hours are mid-day.
- Off-Peak (7 p.m. to 7 a.m. and all day weekends and holidays)
- Mid-Peak (7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.)
- On-Peak (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Winter November 1 to April 30
In winter, less daylight means electricity use peaks twice: once in the morning when people wake up and turn on their lights and appliances, then again when people get home from work. There are two sets of on-peak hours to reflect this.
- Off-Peak (7 pm to 7 am and all day weekends and holidays)
- Mid-Peak (11 am to 5 pm)
- On-Peak (7 am to 11 am and 5 pm to 7 pm)
Ultra-Low Overnight (ULO) prices
Similar to TOU rates, under Ultra-low overnight, the price depends on when you use electricity. ULO has an additional price period, a different set of rates and offers an ultra-low overnight rate in exchange for a higher on-peak rate.
With ULO pricing you are charged according to the day of the week and time of day that you use electricity. There are four price periods: on-peak, mid-peak, weekend off-peak, and ultra-low-overnight. The ULO plan sets a very low price for the overnight period, however, the on-peak price is significantly higher.
This plan could be beneficial to those who consume a major portion of their electricity overnight, or to those who charge an electric vehicle overnight.
The ULO price periods are the same in the summer as they are in the winter.
On weekends and holidays, the weekend off-peak and Ultra-low overnight rates are in effect.
- Ultra-low overnight (every day 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.)
- Mid-peak (weekdays 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.)
- On-peak (weekdays 4 p.m.to 9 p.m.)
- Weekend off-peak: (weekends and holidays 7 a.m.to 11 p.m.)
With Tieredprices, you can use a certain amount of electricity each billing period at a lower price. Once that limit (called a threshold) is exceeded, a higher price applies. The threshold changes with the season to reflect changing usage patterns – for example, there are fewer hours of daylight in the winter and some customers use electric heating.
Tiered prices give you the flexibility to use electricity at any time of day at the same price, although that price will change if you exceed the threshold during the billing period.
Summer and Winter Thresholds
In the summer period (May 1 – October 31), the Tier threshold for residential customers is lower. The Tier threshold for small business customers is the same all year round. In the winter period (November 1 – April 30), the Tier threshold for residential customers is higher, so that households can use more power at the lower price.
Summer threshold - May 1 to October 31
- Residential 600 kWh per billing period
- Small Business 750 kWh per billing period
Winter threshold - November 1 to April 30
- Residential 1,000 kWh per billing period
- Small Business 750 kWh per billing period
Your electricity bill includes the costs for the electricity that you use (billed at TOU rates or Tiered rates), the services your local utility provides and some other costs. Find out more about the other charges that appear on your bill.
The RPP rate also includes the Global Adjustment, which reflects the difference between the market price of electricity and the regulated or contract prices that are paid to generators for the electricity they produce. For customers who purchase their electricity from a retailer, the Global Adjustment is a separate line item on their bill.