Hydro rates set to climb starting April 1

After seeing the commodity price for hydro capped at 4.3 cents per kilowatt hour last year, Fort Frances Power Corp. customers, as well as other hydro users across Ontario, will see their electricity prices go up starting Thursday.
The rate for residential, small business, and designated consumers who are currently paying the capped price of 4.3 cents/kWh will go up to 4.7 cent for the first 750 kWh per month and 5.5.
cents/kWh for any consumption above that level.
“The commodity price increase is significant,” Mark McCaig, CAO and president of the Fort Frances Power Corp., said this morning.
“I guess the government is moving to show the true cost of electricity in the province,” he added.
“It’s also to encourage people to conserve electricity.”^McCaig noted the latter reason was evident in the drastic difference between the rates for the first 750 kWh/month and any consumption above that level.
He added the rate changes are “beyond the control of the [local] utility,” and essentially are a result of the new Liberal government doing away with the 4.3 cent/kWh cap established by the Tories.
But McCaig stressed FFPC customers will continue to receive a credit of 1.23 cents/kWh thanks to the long-time power agreement with the local mill that states the company that owns the dam here must provide power to the town at a reasonable cost.
Low-volume consumers or designated consumers may qualify for a conservation threshold that is more than 750 kWh/month (e.g., because there is more than one unit associated with an account) by completing a declaration form for multi-user residential premises by June 1.
This form is available at the FFPC office here.
The new rate structure was announced by the province Nov.
25. This price will continue until the Ontario Energy Board introduces the new pricing structure expected May 1, 2005.
Also effective April 1 is a slight change in distribution rates.
Distribution charges are set to recover the costs to the local distribution company (the FFPC) for operating, maintenance, and capital costs.
However, these rates changes are so slight (.0067 cents/kWh to .0068 cents/kWh) that they’ll most likely not appear on customers’ bills, said McCaig.
The monthly service charge rate for residential customers is expected to stay at $9.88.