Making Electricity More Affordable for Families and Businesses in Markham-Unionville
New Initiatives Help Lower Costs, Increase Business and Create Jobs
Markham-Unionville MPP Michael Chan is pleased to announce that Ontario is committed to ensuring local businesses and families have access to programs and initiatives to assist in making electricity costs more affordable.
“Our government has a comprehensive and balanced plan to move forward with the clean, reliable and affordable energy that Ontarians need and deserve, now and into the future. These new proposals will benefit both residential and business consumers and contribute to job creation and a stronger economy.”
— Michael Chan, M.P.P., Markham-Unionville
This week, the province proposed several new initiatives and changes to existing programs.
Ontario intends to help residential ratepayers by:
- Removing the Debt Retirement Charge from all residential electricity bills, saving a typical household about $5.60 per month. The charge has appeared on electricity bills since 2002, to help pay down the debt and liabilities of the old Ontario Hydro after it was broken up into smaller entities.
- Developing the Ontario Electricity Support Program. This program would be available to help eligible low-income families in need of financial assistance by providing ongoing support directly on their electricity bills. The Ontario Energy Board, working in collaboration with utility companies and social service delivery agents will launch the program after Dec. 31, 2015. Eligible low-income families in York Region could expect to receive similar relief as currently provided by the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit.
Ontario will support industrial electricity consumers by:
- Proposing to expand the Industrial Conservation Initiative, which provides a valuable incentive for large electricity consumers in York Region to shift their electricity consumption to off-peak hours to save on average 15 to 20 per cent on their energy bills. The expanded program would include eligible customers with monthly peak demand greater than three megawatts, down from the current threshold of five megawatts. This would open participation to hundreds of additional medium-sized electricity consumers across the province.
- Broadening the eligibility for the Industrial Electricity Incentive, which offers eligible local companies reduced electricity rates if they expand their operations and create jobs. Starting in 2014, new applications under the IEI program will allow for participation from a wider range of companies. The IEI program is designed to improve load management by encouraging industrial companies to expand and make use of the province’s strong supply of electricity, allowing for increased investment and job creation.
Ontario is supporting small businesses by:
Making electricity more affordable is part of the government’s economic plan that is creating jobs for today and tomorrow. The comprehensive plan and its six priorities focus on Ontario’s greatest strengths – its people and strategic partnerships.
“We’re helping families and businesses with the costs of investing in a cleaner, more reliable electricity system. We’re doing our part to help families worry less about how to pay for electricity."
— Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Energy
- Families with an annual income of $20,000 spend eight per cent of their income on electricity while families with an annual income of $100,000 or more spend less than two per cent.
- The Industrial Electricity Incentive program was introduced in 2012 to improve load management, incent job creation, and better utilize Ontario’s strong supply of electricity.
- The Industrial Conservation Initiative is currently available to over 200 of Ontario's largest energy consumers and provides a strong incentive for industrial companies to shift their electricity consumption to off-peak hours to reduce their electricity bills.
Read Ontario’s updated Long-Term Energy Plan, Achieving Balance