Considering a Switch?
Are you thinking about opting out of TOU prices in favour of Tiered prices? OR, are you switch back from Tiered prices to TOU prices? Here are a few things to consider:
- Your price plan – Do you pay TOU or Tiered prices for your electricity? If you’re unsure, take a look at the Electricity line of your bill. Most residential and small business customers in Ontario pay TOU prices.
- Your usage – How much electricity do you use in a month? If you’re unsure, take a look at the Electricity line on your bill. You might also want to look at the historical usage graph on Customer Connect which shows your average daily usage over the past 12-month period.
- Your consumption pattern – When you use electricity can be another factor in your choice. Historically, the typical residential customer who paid TOU prices has used nearly two thirds of their power at off-peak times – the time when the lowest TOU price applies. The other third of their power used was typically split equally between on- and mid-peak times. Look at the Electricity line of your bill to see how much power you use in each of the three TOU price periods.
- Seasonal changes and time of year – As described above, the TOU price periods and Tier thresholds change with the season and are different during the winter (November 1 – April 30) and summer (May 1 – October 31) periods. Does the amount of electricity you use change based on the season?
If you’re thinking about switching, you should pay close attention to how much electricity you use in a month, because on Tiered pricing the price is higher for every kWh of electricity that you use above the Tier threshold of 1,000 kWh in the winter or 600 kWh in the summer. For instance, if you heat your home electrically, your monthly use in the winter may be higher. And the same goes for the summer if you need to run your air conditioner.
With TOU prices, the price depends on when you use electricity. Although the TOU price periods also change with the season, the electricity you use after 7 p.m. every day, and on weekends and holidays, is charged at the lowest price under TOU all year round.
Lifestyle and daily habits
Are you often home during the day on weekdays, so that shifting your usage is more challenging? Do you have large appliances that you need to run during the day on weekdays? Can you shift more of that usage to nighttime or weekend hours?
If you’re a small business owner, some of the same factors mentioned earlier also apply – how much electricity do you use each month, and when do you use it? Keep in mind that the Tier threshold for small business customers is 750 kWh all year round. And not all small businesses are the same. A large restaurant with several ovens running in the evening may have a very different electricity usage pattern than a small salon that’s only open during the day. So may a dry cleaner compared to a convenience store, or a clothing store compared to a bakery.
If you’re a TOU customer and don’t want to switch to Tiered prices, you don’t need to do anything. You will stay on TOU prices.
Rules for Switching Electricity Price Plans
If you do want to switch to Tiered prices, here are the rules that apply. These rules also apply if you later want to switch back to TOU prices.
- You’ll need to complete the switch using our online tool to notify Orangeville Hydro that you want to switch. The platform is intended to be as simple as possible, as such, only your customer account number and name are required to sign in.
- Within 10 business days of completing the switch, Orangeville Hydro will tell you if your switch can’t be processed and will explain why (for instance, if you’re not authorized to make changes to the account, or the account can’t be verified).
- If there are no issues with your election form, Orangeville Hydro has the same 10 business days to let you know when you can expect to start being billed on Tiered prices.
- A switch from TOU to Tiered prices can only take effect at the start of a billing period. You are generally billed for a 30-day period, and the start and end dates are identified on your electricity bill.
- Orangeville Hydro will start charging you Tiered prices as of your next billing period after you submit your election form if it receives that form at least 10 business days before that billing period starts, and provided there are no issues with your form (see above).
- If Orangeville Hydro receives the switch less than 10 business days before the start of your next billing period, we might still be able to switch you for your next billing period. But if it can’t be done, we will start charging you Tiered prices at the start of the next billing period after that.
- If you have chosen to switch to Tiered prices and later decide you want to go back to TOU prices, you can do that at any time. The process described above applies.
- Orangeville Hydro is required to inform all new residential and small business customers that they have a choice between TOU or Tiered prices when they set up the account.
- The choice between TOU and Tiered prices is available to nearly all residential and small business customers that have smart meters and are billed on TOU. Some residential and small business customers are charged Tiered prices because their meters can’t be used to bill TOU prices. They can’t switch to TOU prices at this time.
- If you live in a condominium or apartment that has its own individual meter and your bill comes from a company other than Orangeville Hydro, you are a customer of a unit sub-meter provider (USMP). Customers of USMPs also can’t switch to Tiered prices. That decision can only be made for the building as a whole by the “master consumer,” who is the person that retained a USMP for the property. In most cases, the master consumer is the property manager, landlord or condominium board.
- Customers that are buying their electricity from an energy retailer pay the electricity price set out in their contract. Once they have left their retail contract, they will have a choice between paying TOU or Tiered prices. For details about your energy contract, contact your energy retailer.
For more information about TOU and Tiered pricing, visit www.oeb.ca/choice
To compare price plans and to make the switch, click here