Having the power to choose how you pay for power was discussed when Hawkesbury council met on November 30.

Councillor Yves Paquette, who is a member of the town’s Hydro Commission along with Councillor Lawrence Bogue, highlighted to council the new options Hydro Hawkesbury customers have for how their power usage is metered.  The new options actually apply to customers of all power utilities in Ontario, including Hydro One and Hydro 2000, which serves customers in urban areas of Alfred and Plantagenet.

Paquette explained that since November 1, customers have had the option of remaining with time-of-use billing where they are charged a differing amount per kilowatt hour depending on the time of day, or selecting the tiered pricing option where customers are charged a fixed amount per kilowatt hour and then an additional amount per kilowatt hour if they exceed a seasonal threshold.  According to the Ontario Energy Board, residential customers will be charged extra if they exceed 1,000 kilowatt hours of consumption per month between November 1 and April 30, and if they exceed 600 kilowatt hours of consumption per month from May 1 to October 31.  Small businesses on tiered pricing will pay extra if they consume more than 750 kilowatt hours per month, year-round.  The Ontario Energy Board has adjusted the monthly thresholds based on seasonal needs such as fewer daylight hours and cold temperatures in winter which leads to increased demand for lighting and heating.

Mayor Paula Assaly asked what the default billing method is if customers do not select one of the two options.  Paquette said that time of use billing is the default method.

Bogue said that it is good that Hydro Hawkesbury customers now have a choice.

Complete information on electricity billing options, how to choose one, and how to calculate which option is most suitable is available on the Ontario Energy Board website, https://www.oeb.ca/rates-and-your-bill/electricity-rates/choosing-your-electricity-price-plan