Residents will continue to be charged off-peak hydro rates until February 9 at the earliest, as hydro rate relief has been extended to align with Ontario’s Stay-at-Home orders.

Ontario will hold electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 8.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for both Time-of-Use and tiered consumers. The off-peak rates came into effect on January 1, and were set to end on January 28.

Kenora-Rainy River MPP, and Minister of Northern Development and Mines, Indigenous Affairs and Energy, Greg Rickford, explains the reason behind the extra help.

"We know staying at home means using more electricity during the day when electricity prices are higher, that's why we are extending the off-peak electricity rate to provide households, small businesses and farms with stable and predictable electricity bills when they need it most," said Rickford.

Ontario’s Stay-at-Home orders are in effect until February 9 at the earliest, which Minister Rickford has described as a ‘moving target’, and they could be extended by provincial leadership, based on Ontario’s COVID-19 outlook at that time.

The orders require all residents to stay home unless for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or the pharmacy, accessing health care, exercise or for essential work

"We thank Ontarians for following the provincial Stay-at-Home Order to help stop the spread of COVID-19,” Rickford adds.

Residents are reminded that in November, Ontario introduced the option to choose between Time-of-Use rates, in effect prior to the pandemic hydro relief, or a flat, tiered rate based on consumption. Those rates will be reintroduced after the shutdown.

If you’d like to switch billing systems, you must make a request to your local distribution company – Synergy North or Hydro One, at least 10 business days in advance of their next billing cycle for your new rates to be applied.

If residents want to continue to be billed Time-of-Use rates, no action is required as that is now considered the default rate.