The Fair Hydro Plan is reducing hydro bills and providing extra support for rural and low-income families
Electricity is an essential part of our daily lives, powering our homes and businesses. High electricity rates create huge pressures on household budgets and business’s bottom line.
Electricity rates have gone up because, for decades, governments of all stripes let the maintenance of our system slide. The grid became less reliable and we began to experience blackouts. Our system was long overdue for some significant and expensive upgrades.
Hydro bills have also gone up because we ended coal-fired generation. Coal was a cheaper way to generate power, but created smog, contributed to climate change and was costly in terms of environmental and health effects.
We ended dirty coal-fired generation in Ontario. And we have encouraged conservation and the development of clean energy here at home with solar and wind generation.
Over the past decade, we have invested approximately $70 billion to transform our electricity system. We now have a clean, green, reliable system. While those investments were necessary, they came at a cost, which was being disproportionately placed on current electricity customers. By spreading out these costs over a longer period of time, they will be shared more evenly with future generations who will benefit from the investments. It is a fairer way to pay for our electricity investments.
In 2014, you elected us to build Ontario up. That’s why the Ontario Liberal government brought in the single largest electricity rate reduction in our province’s history. By spreading out the cost of modernizing, cleaning and greening our electricity system — improvements that benefit current and future generations — we have cut electricity bills for residents, farms and businesses. Our Fair Hydro Plan:
- Cuts hydro bills by 25 per cent for residential consumers
- Cuts hydro bills by as much as 40 per cent to 50 per cent for people with low incomes or who live in rural and northern communities
- Cuts electricity rates for half a million small businesses and farms
- Ensures rates won’t rise beyond the rate of inflation for four years
- Builds on previous Ontario Liberal action to reduce electricity costs, including removing the Debt Retirement Charge early for all residential customers, saving a typical ratepayer $70 per year.
We are also taking action to ensure that Ontario’s electricity system is efficient, clean, and reliable in the long run, to keep rates down for good. We have launched an electricity market renewal process to build more flexibility into the electricity system and ensure it operates as efficiently as possible. By designing a system that keeps ratepayer costs down and reduces greenhouse gas emissions, we expect to save up to $5.2 billion in cost savings over a 10-year period.