Is your electricity pricing plan meeting your needs?
If you’re a residential or small business customer, you can choose to switch between Time-of-Use (TOU), Ultra-Low Overnight (ULO) and tiered prices.
With TOU and ULO, the price you pay depends on when you use electricity. With Tiered prices, you can use a certain amount of electricity each month at a lower price. Once that limit is exceeded, a higher price applies.
Here are a few things to consider. Make sure you have some of your recent electricity bills handy as you go through the information below. Most of the information you will need is on the Electricity line of your bill.
- Your price plan
Do you know your electricity pricing plan? If you’re unsure, take a look at the Electricity line of your bill. Most residential and small business customers in Ontario pay TOU prices.
- Your usage
How much electricity do you use in a month? If you’re unsure, take a look at the Electricity line on your bill. You might also want to look at the historical usage graph on your bill, which shows your average daily usage over the past 12-month period.
- Your consumption pattern
When you use electricity can be another factor in your choice. Historically, the typical residential customer who paid TOU prices has used nearly two thirds of their power at off-peak times – the time when the lowest TOU price applies. The other third of their power used was typically split equally between on- and mid-peak times. Look at the Electricity line of your bill to see how much power you use throughout the day and week.
- Seasonal changes and time of year
Electricity price periods and tier thresholds change with the season and are different during the winter (November 1 – April 30) and summer (May 1 – October 31) periods. Does the amount of electricity you use change based on the season?
If you’re thinking about switching, you should pay close attention to how much electricity you use in a month, because on Tiered pricing the price is higher for every kWh of electricity that you use above the Tier threshold of 1,000 kWh in the winter or 600 kWh in the summer. For instance, if you heat your home electrically, your monthly use in the winter may be higher. And the same goes for the summer if you need to run your air conditioner.
With TOU and ULO prices, the price depends on when you use electricity.
- Lifestyle and daily habits
Are you often home during the day on weekdays, so that shifting your usage is more challenging? Do you have large appliances that you need to run during the day on weekdays? Can you shift more of that usage to nighttime or weekend hours?
- Small business
If you’re a small business owner, some of the same factors mentioned earlier also apply – how much electricity do you use each month, and when do you use it? Keep in mind that the Tier threshold for small business customers is 750 kWh all year round. And not all small businesses are the same. A large restaurant with several ovens running in the evening may have a very different electricity usage pattern than a small salon that’s only open during the day. So may a dry cleaner compared to a convenience store, or a clothing store compared to a bakery.