Hydro Rates to Increase for Seasonal Residents
Despite strong lobbying by the Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations (FOCA), on September 17 the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) ruled that Hydro One must eliminate the Seasonal Rate Class and move all of their customers into one of their other, density-based rate classes. This will result in hydro rates increasing for certain seasonal rate class residents.
Which class customers fall under depends on a range of factors including the population density of the area, and the cost of the infrastructure and equipment needed to service the customer.
One of FOCA’s strongest objections was that the incremental benefits of eliminating the seasonal class are minimal at best, while incremental adverse impacts on certain customers will be significant.
In making their decision the OEB said “…the submissions of the parties (including FOCA) generally focused more on the bill impacts that would flow from the elimination of the seasonal class … The fact that there are impacts associated with the elimination of the seasonal class does not render the decision to eliminate the class incorrect.”
Hydro One will be filing an updated report on the elimination of the seasonal class by October 15, 2020. FOCA still holds status as an official intervenor with the OEB, and will inform LOBA if there are further opportunities for the public to weigh in.
While this outcome is extremely disappointing, there is still a possibility that this change will not move forward.
LOBA Director Ian White sat on the FOCA Board of Directors for six years and was the FOCA Board representative on a Hydro One customer panel representing an assortment of customers groups and public interest organizations. In addition, Ian and FOCA Executive Director Terry Rees were the contacts for OEB to communicate about new applications and rulings on energy utility changes to their rates and services. Thanks for all your work on our members behalf Ian!
Director Ian Beverley now sits on the FOCA Board of Directors.