Potential changes to Hydro One's Seasonal Class
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 email@example.com. The MPOA are remaining close with FOCA and are sharing information. We will continue to keep you posted as developments arise.
Please see Hydro One's response dated April 5/17 below to FOCA and the MPOA's questions posed in March.