Electricity Charge

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.

RPP prices are reviewed and adjusted twice a year, once in the summer (May 1) and once in the winter (November 1). 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.

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.

Residential and small business customers who are billed under the Regulated Price Plan (RPP) have the opportunity to choose the electricity rate plan that best meets their energy needs and lifestyle: time-of-use (TOU) rates or tiered rates.

As such, RPP customers who want to change rate plan can submit a rate selection form to Hydro Ottawa. Learn More.

Time-of-use 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.


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)

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.)

Tiered prices

With Tiered prices, 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.

Winter and Summer Thresholds

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. 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.

Winter threshold

November 1 to April 30

  • Residential              1,000 kWh per billing period
  • Small Business        750 kWh per billing period

Summer threshold

May 1 to October 31

  • Residential              600 kWh per billing period
  • Small Business        750 kWh per billing period

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.

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.

Global Adjustment

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.

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