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Pending changes to Hydro One's Seasonal Class

November 2020 Update

FOCA (Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Association) sent the following email to their members (MPOA is a member): 

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) is trying to DOUBLE our electricity rates by eliminating the Seasonal Rate Class. This means an additional $60 a month in fees for nearly 80,000 seasonal Hydro One customers and cottage owners.

Since June 2018 the cost of electricity for average households had already risen nearly 2%, and effective November 1st they are up another 2%. But that's nothing compared to the hike of over 100% that 80,000 families will face when the Seasonal Rate Class is eliminated.

On October 1, 2020, the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines committed that people could expect "cost certainty" from the energy sector. With your help, we will be urging Minister Rickford and Premier Ford to fulfill this pledge, and prevent the doubling of our electricity bills.

Today we need YOU to spread the word to other affected property owners, and encourage them to sign up for FOCA's Electricity E-news. Here is the link to share:  

 https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/th201F5/ElectricityIssue2020

FOCA will be consulting with key decision makers in the weeks ahead, and keeping you up to date on how YOU can help us fight this increase, through this Electricity E-news. More to come in the weeks ahead.

August 2020 Update

Nancy Skipper, MPOA Director of Communications posted:

Hydro plans could cause huge increases to our electricity bills next year eliminating the seasonal (cottages) class.

On March 7, 2017, the MPOA informed their membership about the possibility of hydro rates soaring due to the province's potential plan to change the classes of residential electricity users by eliminating the seasonal (cottages) class.  See the article below in grey for reference to last year's article.

This week, Hydro One has distributed an email letter to their Seasonal Customers, related to the Ontario Energy Board's (OEB) proposal to eliminate the Seasonal rate class.

Nancy's full update is available here: https://lakemazinaw.ca/home-s1.php?command=viewArticle&ID=152¤tFeed=1

March 2017 Original Post

Issues surrounding the cost of hydro, especially in rural areas, have been a hot topic in Ontario.  As per our communication on this topic in March, the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations (FOCA) wrote to the Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, and Ontario’s Minister of Energy, Glen Thibeault, on our behalf, urging reconsideration of the proposed change to eliminate the seasonal (cottages) class. 

Currently, Hydro One has" three year-round residential classes (High Density – “UR” class, Medium Density– “R1” class, and Low Density – “R2”class), as well as a Seasonal residential class.  If seasonal status is eliminated, approximately 70,000 seasonal customers will be moved to R1 and 84,000 to R2."  There is a lot of confusion and perhaps apprehension on what this will mean to our utility bills in the years ahead.

FOCA sent a follow up note to the premier's office and as well, they also sent a correspondence to Hydro One noting an information gap and asking if it would be possible to get some clarity.  These are the types of questions being posed: What will my total bill be, once the proposed changes (fixed delivery charges + reclassification) are in place? When does the government (“25% discount, on avg”) plan to take effect? Where can customers go to find out whether they're being converted to R1 or R2?  Please note since the original newsletter, FOCA have received a response, which will be sent out separately.

The MPOA also called both Hydro One and the Ontario Energy Board on March 31/17 seeking clarity.  Hydro One directed us to their website and noted there were only 4 specific changes identified, non of which are changes to seasonal. At this time, they were not able to provide information about the elimination of ‘seasonal’, how they might determine which R1 or R2 a customer might be moved to, effective dates, etc The Ontario Energy Board noted that eliminating the seasonal class is not completely decided yet but that’s what they are working on and the reason to make this change "is to make it less costly."  We were directed to their website http://www.ontarioenergyboard.ca/OEB to gain more information (search on EB-2016-0315).  Should we have further questions to send them to industryrelations@energyboard.ca. The MPOA are remaining close with FOCA and are sharing information.  We will continue to keep you posted as developments arise.