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Ontario to Remove the Debt Retirement Charge on Hydro

Web posted on April 23, 2014

Ontario intends to take the Debt Retirement Charge (DRC) off residential electricity bills, saving the typical homeowner $5.60 per month, after Dec. 31, 2015. Families with an annual income of $20,000 spend eight per cent of their income on electricity while families with an annual income of $100,000 or more spend less than two per cent.

"We're helping Ontarians with the costs of investing in a cleaner, more reliable electricity system. We're doing our part to help families worry less about how to pay for electricity." Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Energy.

The province is also working with the Ontario Energy Board to develop the new Ontario Electricity Support Program to help make electricity more affordable for low-income families. After Dec. 31, 2015, eligible low-income Ontarians could expect to receive similar relief as currently provided by the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit.

The DRC would remain on all other electricity users' bills, including large industrial users, until the residual stranded debt is retired this is estimated to occur by the end of 2018, which is in line with the previously estimated date range published in the 2013 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review.

"Removing the DRC from residential electricity bills supports the government's comprehensive plan to assist Ontario families in managing their utility costs." Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance.

As noted in Achieving Balance, Ontario's 2013 Long-Term Energy Plan, the province has undertaken a number of recent initiatives to mitigate electricity rate increases, including reducing Feed-In Tariff prices, amending the Green Energy Investment Agreement, negotiating new contracts with Non-Utility Generators with expiring contracts only if needed by the power system, introducing wind dispatch, deferring new build nuclear, and moving forward with early coal closure at Lambton and Nanticoke.

Making electricity more affordable is part of the government's economic plan that is creating jobs for today and tomorrow. The comprehensive plan and its six priorities focus on Ontario's greatest strengths - its people and strategic partnerships.