Muskoka To-DAILY

OEB holding open house July 13 in Bracebridge about Hydro One price hikes proposal

BRACEBRIDGE — In the wake of more weekend power outages, residents of Parry Sound-Muskoka will have a chance Thursday to let the Ontario government and the Ontario Energy Board know what they think of Hydro One’s proposed increases at an OEB Hearing on July 13th in Bracebridge, says the local MPP.

“While the Kathleen Wynne government is busy spending your tax dollars to advertise their plan to supposedly decrease hydro costs, Hydro One is applying to increase hydro costs every year for the next five years,” says Norm Miller in his release announcing the meeting.

“I have heard from many people that hydro prices are already too high so I encourage everyone to speak up on this issue.”

Under the proposal, typical residential customers would see increases of:

$2.79/month in 2018

$2.47/month in 2019

$2.31/month in 2020

$1.95/month in 2021

$2.23/month in 2022

By 2022, this would result in residents being billed $141 more per year for hydro delivery, claims Miller.

The OEB Hearing will be on Thursday, July 13 from 6:30 pm until 8:30 pm at the Bracebridge Sportsplex at 110 Cedarbrook Trail.

To register to present contact the OEB at 1-877-632-2727 or email registrar@oeb.ca and quote OEB file number EB-2017-0049.

Those who are unable to make it to the hearing in Bracebridge can take part in a province-wide Telemeeting on July 12th at 6:30 pm. To take part in that meeting call 1-800-806-5484 and use pass code 8940608#.

For more information contact Miller at 705-645-8538  or 1.888.267.4826.

See the OEB’s release below, for more info:

Telemeeting Wednesday 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) is holding two more community meetings to give consumers the opportunity to participate in the OEB’s review of Hydro One’s recent application to increase its electricity distribution rates.

The July 13 meeting, taking place at the Bracebridge Sportsplex at 6:30 p.m., is one of nine in-person community meetings the OEB has held since June 15 to enable Hydro One customers to learn more and ask questions about the utility’s distribution rate application.

For all customers who were unable to attend the meetings held to date, the OEB is also hosting a province-wide telemeeting on Wednesday, July 12, from 6:30-8:30 pm.

Customers s can call in toll-free 1-800-806-5484 using the passcode 8940608# or send an email to  ConsumerVoice@oeb.ca for more information.

All Ontario utilities, including Hydro One, must apply to the OEB if they want to change their distribution rates. These are the rates that utilities charge for delivering electricity to homes and businesses – different from the electricity prices that cover the cost of the electricity that consumers use, which appears on the “electricity” line of the bill.

“The OEB helps control costs for all consumers by reviewing and testing the requested rate change through an open, robust and inclusive rate review process,” says Kristi Sebalj, OEB registrar.

“We work hard to keep rates as low as possible while making sure utilities have what they need to keep the lights on.”

For every major electricity rate application it receives, the OEB holds one or more community meetings for consumers served by the utility as part of its commitment to engage, empower and protect consumers.

“This makes it easier for all consumers to learn more about why their utility is asking for a change in rates to cover the costs of serving customers,” Sebalj says. “Consumers can also find out more about how they can have a say in the review process, before, during and after the meeting.”

The Fair Hydro Act, 2017 is expected to reduce electricity bills for Hydro One customers in different ways starting this summer. The amounts requested by Hydro One in its application to the OEB relate to its distribution business and do not reflect any credits or other changes resulting from the Fair Hydro Act, 2017. Any amounts approved by the OEB will not impact the distribution line of the bill of most Hydro One customers, after the Fair Hydro Act credits and changes are applied.

The OEB still has an important role to play in ensuring that Hydro One provides an appropriate level of service quality to their customers at a reasonable cost, and that they are doing everything possible to be more efficient and keep improving. Please visit the OEB’s website at https://www.oeb.ca/newsroom/2017/fair-hydro-act-2017 for an explanation of how the Fair Hydro Act, 2017 will affect customers’ bills.

This meeting follows eight others that were held in Leamington, Napanee, Rockland, Owen Sound, Ancaster, Stouffville, Dryden and Sudbury.

Consumers are invited to make brief presentations and participate in the question-and-answer period. Consumers wishing to make a presentation are invited to email registrar@oeb.ca or call 1-877-632-2727 (toll-free). Meetings are scheduled to end at 8:30 p.m.

Since 2009, the OEB has reviewed more than 130 major rate applications and reduced requested rate increases by an average of about 40 per cent. Overall, the OEB has kept the annual growth in average distribution rates close to the rate of inflation during the same period.

As Ontario’s independent regulator of the energy sector, the OEB makes decisions that serve the public interest. Its goal is to contribute to a sustainable, reliable and efficient energy sector and to help consumers get value from their electricity and natural gas services.

This includes:

Making the OEB’s processes more understandable for consumers and actively seeking consumer input to improve the OEB’s processes and achieve better results

Setting rules for energy companies and enforcing them

Working with consumers to facilitate the resolution of complaints they may have about their energy company

Setting a number of different kinds of rates, including the rates utilities charge to deliver electricity and natural gas to their customers’ homes and businesses.

Since 2016, the OEB has held 23 community meetings. Feedback from these meetings helps inform the OEB’s final rate decisions.

The OEB’s review of Hydro One’s rate application is still in the early stages and will take about a year to complete. For more information, consumers can call 1-855-831-8151 (toll-free) or visit the OEB’s website at www.oeb.ca, where you can also review the Hydro One Rate application before the meeting.

Consumers are invited to make a five-minute presentation at the meeting by first contacting the OEB at registrar@oeb.ca or by calling 416-440-7605 or 1-877-632-2727 (toll-free within Ontario) and quoting file number EB-2017-0049.

Resources

How to get involved in the OEB’s rate review processes, please visit: oeb.ca/consumervoice.

Hydro One’s distribution rate application: oeb.ca/participate/applications/current-major-applications/eb-2017-0049

Fair Hydro Act’s Bill Impact:  Backgrounder, OEB Presentation & Hydro One Community Presentation

About the Ontario Energy Board

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) is an independent and impartial public agency. We make decisions that serve the public interest. Our goal is to promote a sustainable and efficient energy sector that provides consumers with reliable energy services at a reasonable cost.

For more information, visit the OEB website at oeb.ca

 

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