Time of use rates has small Windsor businesses worried
Enwin, Liberals say there are programs available to help businesses save money
Business owners in Windsor say there's no way for them to escape the rising cost of electricity now being charged on weekdays.
Enwin is phasing in time-of-use billing. It means higher power costs for businesses between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Mike Jabbour owns an east-end restaurant and says dreading the arrival of the summer heat, and what that will mean for his utility bill.
"In the summertime, I use about three times more than I use in wintertime, with two air conditioners running," Jabbour said. "So, if this month is like $100-$125 extra, that means for me in June and July and August, it's going to be about at least $400--$500 extra."
Liberal MPP Teresa Piruzza, whose party is behind the smart metre system, says there are some programs Jabbour can take advantage of.
"Really, it depends on the business," she said. "There are different types of incentive programs, different types of programs that are available."
Under the small business lighting, for example, qualifying businesses can get up to $1,500 in energy-efficient lighting and equipment upgrades.
Enwin says small businesses can get help paying to retrofit appliances, lighting and even building improvements, to save energy.
Jabbour's weekday hours are from 7 a.m. to 7 pm..the most expensive time of the day, and he doesn't own the building so he can't make energy efficient improvements to the windows and doors.
He says he can't raise his prices, so he might have to cut hours or staff.
"I bought this business and I try to keep it running. If I lose it, I lose everything," he said.