Province extends COVID Rate Relief to TOU Customers Until May 31st, 2020

Advocating for Customers

In the industry, Oshawa Power has been actively involved in influencing policies to bring as much relief to our customers as possible. Oshawa Power is currently advocating for the extension of the COVID-19 Rate Relief Program beyond May 7, 2020 through involvement with industry organizations such as: the Electricity Distributors Association, Ontario Energy Board information sessions and workshops and committee participation with the Independent Electricity System Operator.

Province Announces Extension

On May 6, 2020 The Province of Ontario announced an extension in the relief plan. “The Ontario government is extending emergency electricity rate relief to families, farms and small businesses until May 31, 2020 during the COVID-19 outbreak. Customers who pay time-of-use electricity rates will continue to be billed at the lowest price, known as the off-peak price, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This electricity rate relief, initially provided for a 45-day period starting on March 24, 2020, has been extended by an emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. The rate relief is intended to be in place for an additional 24 days.”

Read more of the Province’s announcement here: Ontario Extends Electricity Rate Relief During COVID-19

As we navigate through these uncertain times, Oshawa Power will be there to keep the power flowing. As the Oshawa community comes together to support each other, be assured that Oshawa Power will be there to support Oshawa residents, businesses, frontline workers, and their employees to get through this pandemic.

Deferral of Global Adjustment (GA) charges

Ontario is deferring a portion of Global Adjustment (GA) charges for industrial and commercial electricity consumers that do not participate in the Regulated Price Plan (RPP), starting from April 2020. The GA rate for smaller industrial and commercial consumers (i.e., Class B) has been set at $115 per megawatt-hour, which is roughly in line with the March 2020 value. Large industrial and commercial consumers (i.e.,Class A) will receive the same percentage reduction in GA charges as Class B consumers.

The government intends to keep this relief in place through the end of June 2020, subject to necessary extensions and approvals to implement this initiative. Industrial and commercial electricity consumers will automatically see this relief reflected on their bills. Consumers who have already received their April bill should see an adjustment on a future bill. Please contact us at 905-723-4626 ext 5260 with questions about your bill.

Questions and Answers

Q1. What is the Government of Ontario doing and why?

Ontario is deferring a portion of Global Adjustment (GA) charges for industrial and commercial electricity consumers that do not participate in the Regulated Price Plan (RPP), starting from April 2020. The government intends to keep this relief in place to the end of June 2020, subject to necessary extensions and approvals to implement this initiative The GA rate for smaller industrial and commercial consumers (i.e., Class B) will be set at $115 per megawatt-hour, which is roughly in line with the March 2020 value. Large industrial and commercial consumers (i.e., Class A) will receive the same percentage reduction in GA charges as Class B consumers.This will provide immediate financial support for companies when they need it most: as they do their part to contain COVID-19 and as they prepare to help get our economy moving again.

Q2. Who will benefit?

Ontario anticipates that more than 50,000 industrial (typically Class A) and commercial (typically Class B) electricity consumers will benefit from this relief. Subject to necessary extensions and approvals to implement this initiative, these consumers would be protected from a marked increase in GA cost caused by the low demand during the COVID-19 outbreak for the months of April, May and June 2020.

Q3. Will consumers be expected to pay back the temporary relief at a later date?

Yes, in 2021, Class A and Class B consumers would see an increase in their Global Adjustment (GA) costs over a 12-month period.The government intends to propose regulatory amendments (together with other amendments as necessary) to O. Reg. 429/04 made under the Electricity Act, 1998 in May 2020. If approved, these proposed amendments would allow the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to recover the deferred GA charges over a 12-month period beginning in January 2021. Interest costs related to the deferral would not be recovered from consumers.

Q4. Why is this relief only being provided temporarily?

These are temporary relief measures intended to provide immediate financial support for companies when they need it most: as they do their part to contain COVID-19 and as they prepare to help get our economy moving again.

Q5. My company has already been billed for April based on an estimated GA rate. Will I get a rebate?

You will receive an adjustment on a future bill. Please contact 905-723-4626 ext 5260 to discuss further.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 27, 2020

OSHAWA POWER LAUNCHES NEW STRATEGIC ENERGY BRAND

OSHAWA, Ontario – Oshawa Power and Utilities Corporation (OPUC) is proud to announce the evolution of its non-regulated energy division. As of April 27th, 2020 Oshawa PUC Energy Services (OPUCES) will go by the streamlined name EnerFORGE, EnerFORGE’s mission is strong and clear — to help customers forge a sustainable energy future. The brand infers bold new directions that may not be aligned with the energy status quo, but always lead to improved outcomes for clients. Visually, the logo includes cues that embrace the company’s history as an Oshawa utility affiliate and also reference the team’s acumen in a spectrum of energy technologies. Overall, the look-and-feel will propel the group beyond pre-conceived notions of what OPUCES could do.

In terms of its mandate, EnerFORGE will build on the strong foundational base of 21 projects across nearly 90 sites in the GTHA that were built under the OPUCES brand. This will be done through custom design, build, own, operate and/or finance solutions for low carbon energy initiatives across Canada.

When asked about the re-brand, OPUC’s President and CEO, Ivano Labricciosa noted that “The evolved strategic direction of this division plays an instrumental role in strengthening our market position while also building steady returns for our shareholder”. He also noted that “the old brand left customers confused about our offering and our geographic reach, meaning that our capabilities had outgrown our namesake”.

Scott Barker, VP of Business Development and functional leader for the EnerFORGE division was asked about the timing for this launch. “The team considered delaying the announcement to be sensitive to the challenges everyone is facing during these unprecedented times. As the COVID-19 situation evolved, we’ve witnessed strongly emerging themes of collaboration and innovation, which perfectly align with our new brand. We’ve also seen upticks in our business, as clients require more out of our essential services than ever before. Given this, we’ve decided to launch and modestly celebrate this exciting step with a locally-produced COVID-19 relief package donation to frontline workers at Lakeridge Health Oshawa.”

To achieve its socially-distanced digital launch, EnerFORGE will be posting new content to LinkedIn each day next week and looks forward to celebrating in person with stakeholders someday soon.

About EnerFORGE

EnerFORGE is a leading enabler of critical energy and communications infrastructure. Our mission is to help customers forge their sustainable energy future through flexible, affordable, and innovative approaches. Our available services span the design, build, finance, own, operate and maintain spectrum. EnerFORGE is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oshawa Power and Utilities Corporation.

About Oshawa Power and Utilities Corporation

Oshawa Power and Utilities Corporation (OPUC) is a diversified holding company owned by the municipal corporation of the City of Oshawa. With a 130+ year history in Oshawa, OPUC has four divisions, all of which own and operate critical and converging energy and communications infrastructure.

CONTACTS

Janet Taylor
Manager – Sustainability and Business Advocacy, Oshawa Power
100 Simcoe St. S., Oshawa, ON L1H 7M7
(905) 244-6364
JTaylor@opuc.on.ca

Sheila Risorto
Marketing and Communications, Oshawa Power
100 Simcoe St. S., Oshawa, ON L1H 7M7
(905) 439-1930
srisorto@opuc.on.ca

Supporting Customers

OSHAWA, ON – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues we all are adjusting to the new norm. The virus has affected every person and business in some way. At a time when we are learning to cope we are also, coming together as a community.

With more and more people, working from home and students conducting home study, Oshawa Power recognizes it is more important than ever to keep the lights on. With many households and businesses experiencing income reductions steps have been put in place to assist account holders.

  • The Province of Ontario has adjusted the Time of Use Rates to the lowest rate available, 10.1¢/kWh 24 hours a day until May 7, 2020.
  • Oshawa Power is not disconnecting any residential or small commercial customers for non-payment until further notice.
  • Policies have been adjusted to allow for payment flexibility and payment extensions where needed.
  • A new payment arrangement form was added to the website, allowing customers to request an extension or advise when they can make a payment, from the comfort and safety of their homes. This form can be found at: https://www.opuc.on.ca/extension-request/

“Supporting our customers, both residential and commercial, is of paramount importance during the pandemic. We will do whatever we can to help our customers achieve successful outcomes, which in turns supports our Oshawa economy. Oshawa needs their local businesses in operation when this is all over”. says Ivano Labricciosa, President and CEO, Oshawa Power.

Your Safety is Their Priority

Oshawa Power continues to operate at full capacity, ensuring the reliability and continuity of Oshawa’s electricity supply. The electrical industry is one that already has extensive safety procedures in place and Oshawa Power is recognized as a top safety performer. Oshawa Power has adjusted normal practices to protect our workers and the community from COVID-19. Some of the measures put in place include:

  • Physical Barriers – Social distancing (moving workstations, holding virtual meetings)
  • Personal Protective Equipment – providing sanitizing wipes, gloves, and hand sanitizer to employees
  • Proper Procedures – Extra cleaning and sanitizing; limiting outside guests coming into our building; self screening stations; and asking the public not to approach our field crews or trucks

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Oshawa Power has had no reported cases of COVID-19 in the workplace. They will continue to remain vigilant and keep barriers in place that keep staff and the public safe. Public safety and employee safety are always their top priority.

Connected to the Community

Oshawa Power employees are committed to looking after the Oshawa community amidst the current circumstances.

  • Supporting the City of Oshawa’s project to increase security in the downtown via telecom solutions
  • Supporting Lakeridge Health in efforts to set up a mobile testing site
  • Providing telecom solution support to the Back Door Mission
  • Participating in the City’s Telephone Townhall for local small businesses
  • Being a member of the Mayor’s Economic Recovery Task Force for the City of Oshawa
  • Supporting All or Nothing Brewery in their efforts to convert production to hand sanitizer for the frontline workers.
  • Member of the Downtown Oshawa BIA – Business Improvement Association
  • Member of the Oshawa Chamber of Commerce

Using their supply chain process Oshawa Power provided N95 masks and PPE for community partners such as:

  • Carea Health Centre
  • Community Living Oshawa Clarington
  • Lakeridge Health Oshawa
  • Carriage House Retirement Residence
  • Hillsdale Estates Long Term Care Residence
  • Hillsdale Terrace Long Term Care Residence
  • Extendicare Long Term Care Residence
  • Chartwell Wynfield Long Term Care Residence
  • Revera Thorntonview Long Term Care Residence
  • Cornerstone
  • First Light Foundation of Hope
  • Denise House
  • YWCA Durham
  • Back Door Mission

Advocating for Customers

In the industry, Oshawa Power has been actively involved in influencing policies to bring as much relief to our customers as possible. Oshawa Power is currently advocating for the extension of the COVID-19 Rate Relief Program beyond May 7, 2020 through involvement with industry organizations such as:  the Electricity Distributors Association, Ontario Energy Board information sessions and workshops and committee participation with the Independent Electricity System Operator.

As we navigate through these uncertain times, Oshawa Power will be there to keep the power flowing. As the Oshawa community comes together to support each other, be assured that Oshawa Power will be there to support Oshawa residents, businesses, frontline workers, and their employees to get through this pandemic.

Janet Taylor loading donation boxes in car

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues we are very proud to report that Oshawa Power have had no incidents of COVID-19 among our staff. We will continue to remain vigilant and keep our barriers in place that keep our staff and the public safe. Public safety and employee safety will always be our top priority.

We hear you

The OEB announced this week that they were deferring implementing Summer Rates and the Summer Peak Time schedule. It was noticed however that the OEB plan to restore the Time of Use rates back to November 19, 2019 rates as of May 7, 2020. There has been some strong opinion expressed about this decision from Ontario ratepayers.

We want you to know that we hear you. We are taking steps to lobby the OEB and request an extension of the COVID-19 Rate Relief while families are still isolating at home. We are doing what we can to try to prevent the Rate Relief program from ending.

We are here

We continue to operate and serve our customers. We are here to work with you. If you have concerns about paying your bill, please contact us. We will work with you and find the best solution to meet your needs. For your convenience you can fill out a payment extension request form on our website and one of our Customer Service Representative will contact you.

Payment Extension Request

In the community

Our team continues to be connected to our communities within our industry and within the City of Oshawa. We wanted to let you know of some of the ways our employees are working to look after our community and our customers amidst the current circumstances.

Some of the initiatives, projects, and associations our employees are helping with (to name a few):

  • EDA – Participation in councils at the Electricity Distributors Association
  • Ontario Energy Board Workshops
  • Supporting the City of Oshawa’s project to increase security in the downtown via telecom solutions
  • Supporting Lakeridge Health in efforts to set up a mobile testing site
  • Providing telecom solution support to the Back Door Mission
  • Participated in the City’s Telephone Townhall for local businesses
  • Mayor’s Economic Recovery Task Force for the City of Oshawa
  • Using our supply chain to provide masks and PPE for community partners such as Carea, Community Living OC, Lakeridge Health & Carriage House
  • Downtown Oshawa BIA – Business Improvement Association
  • Participation on Committees of the IESO – Independent Electricity System Operator
  • Oshawa Chamber of Commerce

As we navigate through these uncertain times, Oshawa Power will be there to keep the power flowing. As the Oshawa community comes together to support each other, be assured that Oshawa Power will be there to support Oshawa residents, frontline workers, and their employees to get through this pandemic.

Oshawa Power pitches in and donates 1,000 N95 face masks to local health care frontline workers…

Oshawa, ON – Oshawa Power has donated N95 respirator masks to Lakeridge Health Oshawa and CAREA to assist in PPE shortage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Recognizing the PPE shortages faced by the local health care community, to the point of desperation, we realized we had to help in any way we could. This donation will help our frontline workers carry on operations giving them a little comfort, knowing they are protected. We will continue to support our community in any way that we can,” said Ivano Labricciosa, President and CEO, Oshawa Power.

Oshawa Power continues to operate at full capacity to ensure reliability and continuity of Oshawa’s electricity supply. With more and more people working from home, and students conducting home study Oshawa Power recognizes it is more important than ever to keep the lights on.

To learn more about Oshawa Power and the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit opuc.on.ca.

About Oshawa Power

Oshawa Power is a regulated electricity utility serving over 60,000 customers in Oshawa for over 130 years. Oshawa Power is part of the Oshawa Power and Utilities Corporation family of companies.

Oshawa Power

Electricity Utility

What we are doing

Oshawa Power continues to actively participate in ongoing projects, support our community and ensure the safety of our employees and customers.

Oshawa Power was very proud to support All or Nothing Brewery in their efforts to produce much needed hand sanitizer to be supplied to the frontline workers. We continue to supply a reliable source of power to enable businesses to pivot and remain open to serve the community.

Oshawa Power recently supported Lakeridge Health services with their efforts to set up a mobile testing site.  As Lakeridge prepares to set up mobile quarters for staff working long hours, Oshawa Power is committed to expedite the process to provide power and data to them. During this critical time, Oshawa Power recognizes the importance of uninterrupted supply of power to support Lakeridge’s efforts in battling COVID-19 and this remains one of our top priorities.

Earlier this week, our President and CEO, Ivano Labricciosa participated in the Mayor’s Small Business Telephone Town Hall as a panel member. Questions were answered regarding the impact of COVID-19 on local businesses, impact on staffing, and long-term financial impacts. Additionally, there were inquiries on local construction sites and safety. The City of Oshawa will be releasing a recording of the town hall within the next week. We will be sure to share it.

Safety and our staff

Electricity is an essential service. Oshawa Power is continuing with construction projects to ensure the electricity supply remains stable. We understand the importance of reliable electricity during these times where so many households have people working from home. We have implemented barriers to keep our staff safe while we continue with these projects. Barriers include limit of approach, personal protective equipment, and adjusting procedures. This proven 3 Barrier safety practice, already in use for our industry, has been adapted to protect our workers from the hazard of COVID – 19.

If you do see our crews working in your neighbourhood we ask that you keep your distance. To keep our workers safe and healthy we are asking that the public respect a 5-metre distance.

For our inside staff additional safety measures include: workingfrom home where applicable, enhanced office cleaning and sanitizing, workstation relocation, social distancing, limiting visitors to the office, and conducting virtual meetings.

Oshawa Power will continue with day-to-day customer service, design projects, construction and customer projects so long as we can keep our workers safe and respect the safety guidelines put in place by Government and Public Health officials.

Support for Household Projects

With more people at home it is certain that the number of household projects will increase. We want to assure that we have staff available to assist you with these projects. If you are doing any electrical work, we recommend you hire a licenced electrician.  Some projects will require an electrical upgrade and we are here to support you. Just fill out our Service Request Form and we will respond within 1-2 days. All electrical projects need to be inspected by the Electrical Safety Authority before reconnection.

April is Dig Safe month! In 2019, there were 4,940 reported damages as a result of not calling Ontario One Call first. If are planning any projects that required digging please call Ontario One Call at 1-800-400-2255, it is the law.

It is always important to receive feedback to ensure we are staying connected to and meeting your needs. It is also comforting for our team to receive your support – we want to hear from you. Please send us your thoughts and messages and we will share them with our team.

Email: ceo@opuc.on.ca

Phone: 905-743-5207

Stay Up to Date

As we navigate through these unchartered times as a result of COVID-19 please take comfort in knowing that Oshawa Power is here for you. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook @oshawapower for the latest updates and check our COVID-19 webpage regularly.

Stay up-to-date on COVID-19 and learn the facts about this virus via http://www.durham.ca/NovelCoronavirus.

More information about COVID-19 and what you can do if you are experiencing symptoms can be found at: http://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus

Ontario Energy Board

https://www.oeb.ca/

The Government of Ontario website

https://www.ontario.ca/page/government

The following are quick links that can be followed for further information

Government of Canada

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html

Lakeridge Health

https://www.lakeridgehealth.on.ca/en/index.asp

COVID-19: Time-of-Use Rates Suspended for 45 Days

The Government of Ontario is providing temporary 45-day emergency relief to support Ontarians impacted by the global COVID-19 outbreak. As of Tuesday, March 24, 2020, households, farms and small businesses who pay time-of-use electricity rates will be charged off-peak rates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

What does this mean for your bill?

On your bill you will see your consumption that was used prior to March 24, 2020 will be charged at the normal regulated Time of Use rates and any consumption used after March 24, 2020 will be charged at the flat 10.1¢. Your first bill with the new rates reflected are due to be issued after April 7, 2020. It will show usage from both time periods.

As a result of having a bill that represents two different time periods you will see six line items that will detail your usage. See the sample bill below.

  • Two line items to represent On Peak – One to represent consumption used before March 24, 2020 and one to represent consumption used after March 24, 2020
  • Two line items to represent Mid Peak – One to represent consumption used before March 24, 2020 and one to represent consumption used after March 24, 2020
  • Two line items to represent Off Peak – One to represent consumption used before March 24, 2020 and one to represent consumption used after March 24, 2020

The temporary suspension of the Time of Use rates will only affect customers who are currently paying the province’s regulated Time of Use Rates. If you are currently enrolled in a third party retailer contract or if you are paying the province’s regulated Tiered Pricing plan you will not see any change on your bill.

To find out more details about your bill we encourage you to log into your online account.

If you are concerned about a possible postal service stoppage or would prefer not to have manual handling and delivery of your bill, you can switch to paperless billing by visiting https://www.opuc.on.ca/ebilling

If you need assistance please don’t hesitate to contact us by email here or by calling us at 905-723-4623. We have representatives available to assist you from 8:30am-4:30pm Monday to Friday.

COVID-19: Time-of-Use Rates Suspended for 45 Days

The Government of Ontario is providing temporary 45-day emergency relief to support Ontarians impacted by the global COVID-19 outbreak. As of Tuesday, March 24, 2020, households, farms and small businesses who pay time-of-use electricity rates will be charged off-peak rates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

With this, Oshawa Time of Use (TOU) consumers will not be subject to TOU rates and will be paying the lowest available rate of 10.1¢ per kWh during this period.

Oshawa Power is ready to implement this change on your bill. We are working diligently to ensure this reduction in rate is executed quickly and accurately.

It is expected that this will save the average residential TOU consumer about $24.00 over the 45 day period, and about $300.00 for a small commercial TOU customer.

What will change on your bill?

On your bill you will see your consumption that was used prior to March 24, 2020 will be charged at the normal regulated Time of Use rates and any consumption used after March 24, 2020 will be charged at the flat 10.1¢. Your first bill with the new rates reflected are due to be issued after April 7, 2020. It will show usage from both time periods.

No action is required by electricity consumers: this change will be applied automatically for everyone paying time-of-use rates, for electricity consumed starting at 12:00 a.m. EST on March 24, 2020.

Oshawa Power is here to support you through this unprecedented time. We are offering our customers payment flexibility and assistance to those who need it. Please contact our office to see what option is best for your situation. You can reach out to our Customer Service team Monday to Friday 8:30am-4:30pm at 905-723-4623 or through email here .

It is always important to receive feedback to ensure we are staying connected to and meeting your needs. It is also comforting for our team to receive your support – we want to hear from you. Please send us your thoughts and messages and we will share them with our team.

Email: ceo@opuc.on.ca

Phone: 905-723-4626 ext 5243

Where to get help

To get additional help on your hydro bill you can reach out to the following organizations:

Affordability Fund Trust

Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP)

Housing Stability Program

To receive community help

The Regional Municipality of Durham has launched a Community Resources webpage with information on resources available to support vulnerable and unsheltered members in our community, as well as local community agencies that are actively seeking volunteers to help in a safe way.

Feed the Need Durham

Salvation Army Oshawa

Simcoe Hall Settlement House

Back Door Mission for the Relief of Poverty

Community Development Council Durham

Durham Region Care Mongers – 1-888-573-0982

We are open for business

Premier Doug Ford announced Monday afternoon that businesses deemed non-essential have been ordered to close Tuesday night as part of escalating government measures meant to curb the spread of COVID-19. Utility companies are on the list as essential.

Oshawa Power would like to assure you that we are here and will continue to operate to ensure your power continues to flow. Oshawa Power is taking extreme precaution to protect our staff and the public and do our part to help reduce the spread the COVID-19.

You will see our workers out there and we ask that you help us practice and maintain our physical distancing objectives so that we can continue to maintain a COVID-19 free environment and stay committed to you as we work to get through this situation together.

“The grocery store clerks, transit and hydro workers and truckers are out there on the front lines making sure the people of Ontario continue to have access to the products and services they need,” Ford said in a statement.

“It is essential that their workplaces be kept as safe as possible so these local heroes can return home to their families worry-free.” As stated in a news release from the Premier’s office

The news release detailed Ontarians will still have access to grocery stores and pharmacies, and their power and telecommunications will continue to run.

Our dedicated and committed people are here in Oshawa working in your neighborhood for you during these uncertain times. You will see them trying to make your day as comfortable as possible – keeping the lights on, keeping your work plans happening and ensuring whatever way you want to interact with us that we are here to serve you. We are prepared and have plans in place to meet your needs and continue to maintain safe, reliable service to all of our customers for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak, however long it may be.

It is always important to receive feedback to ensure we are staying connected to and meeting your needs. It is also comforting for our team to receive your support – we want to hear from you. Please send us your thoughts and messages and we will share them with our team.

Email: ceo@opuc.on.ca

Phone: 905-723-4626 ext 5243