Ontario to reduce the price of hydro as residents work from home

COVID-19 is affecting almost every manner in which we live our lives.

The most profound, perhaps, is in our relationship to work. For many Canadians, that means working from home. That also means more electricity consumption. Sure, a laptop and second monitor won’t make all that much of a difference, but just think about how many times ovens are fired up to heat frozen pizza.

In Ontario, that extra bit of juice matters. Ontarians pay more for their electricity than residents of any other province. Like, a lot more. According to the Globe and Mail, since 2006, the top rate for power has risen four times as fast as inflation.

To help ease the financial burden, the province is expected to announce hydro subsidies beginning today (Tuesday). That means lower rates for at least 45 days to offset higher consumption. The cut is also intended to help those who have lost their jobs in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Via the Globe and Mail:

Starting Tuesday, rates will be lowered to the current off-peak rate of 10.1 cents per kilowatt hour. Currently, the mid-peak rate is 14.4 cents and the on-peak rate is 20.8 cents. On-peak hours are 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays; off-peak hours are 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., as well as weekends and holidays.

The province will take a $162 million hit in lost revenue. Families will save more than $20 per month; small businesses will save $150; and farms will save more than $300.

Starting at 11:59 p.m tonight, (Tuesday), all non-essential businesses in the province will be forced to close.