Ontario Helping Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Lower Electricity Costs
New pilot program will increase consumer choice and support provincial grid
December 14, 2022
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TORONTO – The Ontario government is launching a new pilot program to explore dynamic electricity pricing and its ability to lower electricity bills for small and medium-sized businesses including retail stores, commercial offices and farms. This new program builds on the government’s commitment to give consumers more control of their energy bills while benefiting the provincial grid.
“Keeping electricity costs down for businesses helps create jobs and promote economic development,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Energy. “That’s why we’re launching our new dynamic pricing pilot to give them more choice in how they use and are billed for electricity – just like we’ve done for residential consumers.”
The pilots will test alternate pricing structures that encourage participants to shift electricity consumption to hours where electricity demand is low, helping to reduce costs for businesses. The pilots will help inform the government on the potential for alternate pricing options to provide electricity system benefits and in turn, lower electricity bills for all customers.
Small and medium-sized businesses, farms and community centres that are included in the Class B electricity rate class and don’t have access to time-of-use or tiered rates may be eligible to participate in the new pilot program.
This builds on the government’s commitment to provide more choice to all electricity consumers. Residential and some small business consumers already have the opportunity to select the price plan – Time-of-Use or Tiered – that keeps their bills lowest. The government is also launching a new ultra-low overnight electricity price plan that will be available to consumers next year, helping to support the adoption of electric vehicles.
The government has directed the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to work with the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to deliver these dynamic pricing pilots. The OEB plans to open applications for the program by the end of 2022.
- The government is keeping electricity costs down for all businesses through its Comprehensive Electricity Plan which is reducing electricity costs by between 15 to 17 per cent.
- “Dynamic” pricing refers to prices that vary depending on the weekday or hour of the day.
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