Province announces new COVID-19 Recovery Rate, COVID Energy Assistance Programs and New Customer Choice Initiative

OSHAWA – Ontario announces new energy assistance available for residential and small commercial customers. The province previously announced a disconnection ban in place for residential and small commercial customers.

Announced this past weekend, consumption used as of June 1, 2020, the new COVID-19 Recovery Rate of 12.8¢/kWh is in effect, 24 hours a day until October 31, 2020. No action by the customer is required for this rate to take effect.

The province has also announced that as of July residential and small commercial can apply for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) to receive a one-time payment assistance for customers struggling to pay their bill. Oshawa Power will share more information about this upcoming program when it becomes available.

Starting November 1, 2020 Ontario hydro users will have the choice between paying the regulated Time-Of-Use rates or pay the regulated Tiered Pricing Plan. As more information is released about this new option Oshawa Power will share.

See the Province’s announcement.

Please be assured that Oshawa Power is ready to support their customers through these new changes. As more information becomes available Oshawa Power will share on their website and social media channels. You can stay current by visiting our COVID-19 information page, visiting our COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions page  or you can contact our Customer Service Department at 905-723-4623 or contactus@opuc.on.ca

What is the impact to my bill?

The Government of Ontario introduced a fixed electricity price, known as the COVID-19 Recovery Rate, of 12.8 cents per kWh, which will be automatically applied to all time-of-use customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This fixed electricity price will be in place from June 1 – October 31, 2020.

With this, Oshawa Time of Use (TOU) consumers will not be subject to TOU rates and will be paying the rate of 12.8¢ per kWh during this period. Customers will receive crossover bills showing a consumption used prior to June 1, 2020 and after June 1, 2020. As a result, customer will see six line items representing their monthly consumption. See Sample below:

 

The Government of Ontario has introduced a fixed, COVID-19 Recovery Rate starting June 1, 2020, for households, farms and small businesses who pay time-of-use electricity rates

The Government of Ontario has introduced a fixed electricity price, known as the COVID-19 Recovery Rate, of 12.8 cents per kWh, which will be automatically applied to all time-of-use customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This fixed electricity price will be in place from June 1 – October 31, 2020. As of Monday June 1, 2020, households, farms and small businesses who pay time-of-use electricity rates will be charged 12.8¢ 24 hours a day, seven days a week until October 31, 2020.

With this, Oshawa Time of Use (TOU) consumers will not be subject to TOU rates and will be paying the rate of 12.8¢ per kWh during this period. This announcement eliminates the on-peak pricing of 20.8¢ per kWh for the next 5 months.

Tiered customers will not be affected by the new fixed price. The Ontario Energy Board has extended the winter tier prices and the winter thresholds also remain in place until further notice. By keeping the winter threshold in place, residential customers will have an additional 400kWh/month available at the lower Tier 1 price.

See the Province’s announcement here

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.

Bill Comparison Examples:

  • Compared to regular time-of-use rates, the average consumer (700kWh monthly consumption, 64% off-peak, 18% mid-peak, 18% off-peak) would not see a bill change when charged the COVID-19 Recovery Rate of 12.8 cents/kWh.
  • Compared to regular time-of-use rates, a consumer who uses 700kWh a month but has an atypical consumption pattern (45% off-peak, 25% mid-peak, 30% on-peak) would see a bill decrease of approximately $9.47 when charged the COVID-19 Recovery Rate of 12.8 cents/kWh.
  • Compared to regular time-of-use rates, a consumer who uses 700kWh a month with a consumption pattern of 55% off-peak, 20% mid-peak, 25% on-peak would see a bill decrease of approximately $4.99 when charged the COVID-19 Recovery Rate of 12.8 cents/kWh.
  • Compared to the current off-peak price of 10.1 cents/kWh, the average customer (700kWh monthly consumption) would see a bill increase of approximately $16.13 when they are moved to the COVID-19 Recovery Rate of 12.8 cents/kWh.

What will change on your bill?

On your bill you will see your consumption that was used prior to June 1, 2020 will be charged at the rate of 10.1 cents/kWh and any consumption used after June 1, 2020 will be charged at the flat rate of 12.8¢.

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 June 1, 2020.

Oshawa Power will continue 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 at contactus@opuc.on.ca .

If you require, you can fill out an online payment extension request form at your convenience and a Customer Service Representative will contact you to discuss options.

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

Oshawa, ON – Recently Oshawa Power, Hydro One Telecom and Cisco Systems collaborated to help the Back Door Mission, located on Bagot Street, Oshawa, with acquiring wireless internet service to support the recently launched the Mission United Project.

Mission United is a multi-agency project created in partnership with CMHA, Durham Mental Health Services, Lakeridge Health, the Region of Durham, and others working in the Back Door Mission space to support increased operations during the COVID-19 Pandemic, including the ability to set up video conferencing with health and social work practitioners from the mission location. These added services will assist the City’s most vulnerable population get the support they need safely.

Oshawa Power has a robust fibre network in the downtown core of Oshawa. In discussions with the Mission’s Board President Derek Giberson, who explained the Mission’s needs, the team started to brainstorm some ideas of how to get internet service to the Mission.  Oshawa Power built a wireless building bridge to connect the Back Door Mission building to internet services from Oshawa Power’s location across the street. In partnership with Hydro One Telecom, who also donated their time and services to this initiative and in conjunction with Cisco Systems’ donation of equipment, the Back Door Mission received wireless internet service on May 6, 2020.

Quote:

“We are so proud of our team for creating this unique solution and for working with Hydro One Telecom and Cisco Systems to get internet service to a facility that needs it so desperately during this pandemic. The services provided by the Back Door Mission are so essential to our community and I’m glad we were able to enable them to continue their great work,” says Ivano Labricciosa, President and CEO, Oshawa Power.

About Oshawa Power:

Oshawa Power is a regulated utility that supplies safe, reliable, and efficient electricity distribution to over 60,000 customers in the city of Oshawa. Oshawa Power is part of the Oshawa Power and Utilities Corporation family of companies that also provides telecommunications, renewable energy solutions and energy generation projects.

About The Back Door Mission:

The Back Door Mission works to relieve the burdens of poverty and social dislocation within the economically deprived and street population of Oshawa. We provide clothing, lunch, groceries, on-site counseling, medical, and harm reduction support.

About Hydro One Telecom:

Hydro One Telecom delivers high-capacity telecommunications solutions to enterprises, wholesalers and public sector agencies via an expansive fibre-optic network across Ontario and extending into the United States. Hydro One Telecom provides high-speed data networking services for Network-to-Network, Cloud-to-Cloud, Network-to-Cloud and Data Centre-to-Data Centre business requirements and is a wholly owned subsidiary of 2486267 Ontario Inc., which is wholly owned by Hydro One Limited.

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Media Contact:

Sheila Risorto

Marketing and Communications Analyst

Oshawa Power

905-439-1930

srisorto@opuc.on.ca

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.

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.

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 at contactus@opuc.on.ca or by calling us at 905-723-4623. We have representatives available to assist you from 8:30am-4:30pm Monday to Friday.