RATES – A Message to Our Customers

May 12, 2020


Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Niagara-on-the-Lake Hydro was approved for several rate changes by the Ontario Energy Board. The changes result in an increase in customer bills. Due to the pandemic, the NOTL Hydro Board has decided to implement only a portion of the rate update on May 1, 2020 while deferring the remainder until a later date.

NOTL Hydro had the option of deferring all the rate increases until November 1, 2020.  However, the amount owing for the Ontario system and transmission costs would simply have accumulated and the rate increase in November would have been twice as high.

Effective May 1, 2020 our rates to pay the costs of Ontario system and transmission increase as per the table below. These are charges that are not kept NOTL Hydro, but are passed on to other entities.

Ontario System and Transmission Increase (Effective May 1)
Customer Class % Increase $/kwh average customer $/month average customer
Residential 1.05% $0.0016 $1.18
Small Commercial (< 50 kW) 1.09% $0.0016 $3.14
Large Commercial (> 50 kW) 4.44% $0.0068 $358.72


There will be no immediate increase in the OEB approved rates used to fund the operations of NOTL Hydro.  These will be maintained at current rates until the pandemic has passed at which time they will be increased as per the table below:

NOTL Hydro Operations Increase (Effective TBA)
Customer Class % Increase $/kwh average customer $/month average customer
Residential 0.59% $0.0009 $0.67
Small commercial (< 50 kW) 0.37% $0.0005 $1.07
Large commercial (> 50 kW) 0.13% $0.0002 $10.20


Like many businesses, NOTL Hydro now has lower revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  We are also incurring additional expenses as we adjust our operations to maintain adequate social isolation while keeping electricity reliable.  We may also see high write-offs of unpaid balances in the future depending on the financial health of our customers.

Our regulator, the Ontario Energy Board, is allowing local electricity distributors, like NOTL Hydro, the option of tracking and deferring these lost revenues and incremental costs with a view to recovering them in future rates.  The Board of NOTL Hydro does not think it is appropriate that we can recover these income losses when our customers cannot.  NOTL Hydro pledges that it will not seek to recover lost revenues and incremental system operating costs from this pandemic through future higher rates. 

No decision has been made yet with regards to the recovery of potential write-off costs.

Stay safe.