Hydro One applies to Ontario Energy Board for rate increase

Hydro One is looking to raise its electricity rates, a change that, if approved, would cost the utility's average customer two to three dollars more per month over the next five years.

If approved, customers could be paying higher rates next year

Hydro One has applied to the Ontario Energy Board raise its electricity distribution rates. (Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press)

Hydro One is looking to raise its electricity rates, a change that, if approved, would cost the utility's average customer two to three dollars more per month over the next five years.

Also part of Hydro One's application to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) is an increase to how much the utility charges for other services, like disconnection, reconnection and access to its power poles.

PC party critical

The Ontario Progressive Conservative party has stated the rate increases would result in the average Hydro One customer paying about $141 more per month for their electricity in five years.

PC leader Patrick Brown has been critical of the application, writing an open letter to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne on June 6, calling on her to reject it.

"If you agree that Ontario families are in need of relief, as you have been suggesting since the Scarborough-Rouge River by-election in September 2016, there should be no hesitation on your part," Brown wrote. "I look forward to seeing a swift and immediate response from your government. Ontarians can't afford this rate hike."

Any increases, however, do not take into account reductions in rates that will come into effect this summer under the Liberals' Fair Hydro Plan.

In a June 7 letter sent to PC leader Patrick Brown, (media outlets, including CBC, were provided with copies), Ontario Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault said the Fair Hydro Plan will result in lower rates for Hydro One customers, regardless of what the OEB decides regarding this latest application.

"Despite claiming to support lowering electricity bills for all Ontario families, you and your party all voted against the Fair Hydro Plan," Thibeault wrote. "It has been nearly 100 days since you promised to release an energy plan — but Ontarians are still waiting."

Public hearing to take place

None of the increases has been approved by the OEB yet. A public hearing on the matter will take place, but a date or location has not been announced.

Intervenors have until June 14 to make a request to appear at the hearing.

Comments can be also be submitted via letter. For more information on the process or the application, select file EB-2017-0049 at oeb.ca/notice.


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