Back in 2010 all Niagara-on-the-Lake HOMES and SMALL BUSINESSES were equipped with a Smart Meter, as mandated by the Ontario Government, in preparation for the migration to a new billing rate structure called Time-of-Use (TOU).  Smart Meters and TOU Rates are expected to encourage all Ontarians to think more about how and when they use electricity and to help us better understand and manage our own home or small business’s energy use.

How are Time-of-Use Prices Set?
The Ontario Energy Board reviews the rates based on electricity prices over the previous six months, as well as its forecast of future prices over the next year.

Time-of-Use prices reflect the fact that the cost to provide electricity changes throughout the day. When demand is low, less expensive sources of electricity are used. When demand rises, more expensive forms of electricity production are called upon, making prices higher.

In summer, on-peak prices apply during the middle of the weekday (from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.), reflecting the increase in air conditioning use. In winter, on-peak prices apply in the morning (7 a.m. to 11 a.m.) and evening (5 p.m. to 7 p.m.), when demand ramps up as residential electricity use increases. During weekends and holidays, all hours of the day are off-peak.

 

                       Time-of-Use Illustration

How to Take Advantage of Time-of-Use
Niagara-on-the-Lake Hydro performed several workshops on Time-of-Use to inform residents and to offer helpful tips on measuring and reducing their energy consumption. The following are several downloads and links to helpful websites that will help you understand and live comfortably with TOU. 

*Residential and Small Business accounts will see their first Time-of-Use Bill in September 2011 (based on their August consumption). 

TOU Workshop Presentation Slides Click Here    Federal Retrofit Program – Click Here 
Time-of-Use Charts - Click Here   Electricity Bill Calculator – Home - Click Here
Introduction to TOU for Residents - Click Here   Electricity Bill Calculator – Small Business – Click Here
Introduction to TOU for Businesses - Click Here   10 Smart Meter Lane –  Click Here
    Small Business Audit Tool – Click Here

  How to Read an Energuide Label – Click Here 

Please note that if you currently have a contract with an energy retailer or if you sign one, you may not be able to take advantage of Time-of-Use rates.

For more information on current Time-of-Use Rates please click here.