• News
  • September 16, 2016

Ontario Reducing Electricity Costs for Families and Businesses

Families, Farms and Small Businesses in Thunder Bay and Area Will See Bill Reductions

As part of its balanced plan to build Ontario up and help people in their everyday lives, Ontario is taking action to reduce electricity costs and has introduced legislation that, if passed, would rebate the provincial portion of the HST from the electricity bills of residential, small business and farms as of January 1, 2017. Rural electricity ratepayers would receive additional relief and commercial, institutional and industrial ratepayers would also benefit from lower electricity costs. Over the last number of years, Ontario’s economy has recovered from the impact of the global recession. While the province and independent economic analysts project consistent economic growth for Ontario, many families are not yet feeling the impact of the recovery in their everyday lives. Therefore, Ontario intends to take action to help with the costs related to electricity. Together, these actions would directly benefit electricity consumers in Thunder Bay and area, including:  

  • Reducing Ontario residential electricity bills by 8 per cent on the amount before tax, an average savings of about $130 annually or $11 each month
  • Providing eligible rural ratepayers with additional relief, decreasing total electricity bills by an average of $540 a year or $45 each month
  • Empowering businesses to reduce their bill by up to 34 per cent through the expansion of the Industrial Conservation Initiative  

Across Ontario, about five million residential consumers, farms and small businesses, along with more than one thousand industrial customers will be positively impacted by these changes. Helping Ontarians with the cost of everyday living and helping businesses compete are part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit in Ontario's history and is investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.  


“As Minister of Municipal Affairs, I’m pleased that the actions we are announcing today will benefit residents and businesses in both rural and urban communities, as well as unorganized territories in the North. While a reduction of 8 per cent - amounting to annual savings of $130 - is welcome relief for all hydro customers, I’m proud our government understands additional mitigation is needed for rural and remote customers living in less densely populated R2 zones. These additional reductions will result in up to 20 per cent average savings, roughly $540 a year. There is also good news for business and industry with the expansion of the Industrial Conservation Initiative which will see many more business have access to energy savings that will result in increased economic development.”  

- Bill Mauro, Minister of Municipal Affairs, MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan

 “As a Northerner and Minister of Northern Development and Mines I understand that Northerners have been significantly impacted by the cost of their hydro bills. The actions we’re announcing today will provide relief for families and businesses in the North and across the province. Northern and rural ratepayers will benefit from a reduced delivery charge saving an average of $540 per customer. This significant savings, including the eight per cent reduction being applied to all customers across Ontario, will reduce hydro bills in rural and Northern Ontario by approximately 20 per cent. These steps are the latest in a series of measures our government has taken to help ease pressure on families and businesses here in Northern Ontario.”

- Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines, MPP Thunder Bay-Superior North

 “This is great news for First Nation, Inuit and Metis people across Ontario who will see the benefits of the proposed 8 per cent rebate on their electricity bills. As well, the expanded Rural or Remote Rate Protection program will assist Indigenous consumers in decreasing their utility costs in some of the most remote areas of the province.”

- David Zimmer, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation


 ▪     Since 2003, Ontario has invested more than $35 billion in over 16,000 megawatts (MW) of new and refurbished clean generation, including nuclear, natural gas and renewables – this represents about 40 per cent of our current supply.

▪     Ontario eliminated coal-fired electricity generation, replacing it with cleaner sources of energy, which has decreased electricity sector emissions by approximately 80 per cent since 2003.

▪     To help reduce electricity costs, Ontario has already removed the Debt Retirement Charge from residential electricity bills and introduced the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) to provide a monthly credit to low-income households who have applied and meet the eligibility requirements.

▪     As outlined in the 2016 Budget and the Climate Change Action Plan, the government intends to use a portion of the cap and trade auction proceeds to reduce greenhouse gases by helping industrial and commercial electricity consumers use less electricity, which will also help to keep rates affordable.

▪     ICI provides a strong incentive for large electricity consumers to shift their electricity consumption to off-peak hours to reduce their bills by up to one-third. Expanding ICI would reduce cost pressures on the electricity system by enabling more consumers to lower their electricity demand during peak periods.


▪       Backgrounder on Existing Programs To Reduce Electricity Costs for Consumers and Businesses

▪       Backgrounder on Electricity Rate Relief for Ontario Consumers

▪       Read Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan

▪      Read Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan

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