Essex Powerlines along with other Local Distribution Companies across Ontario have been working diligently with the Electricity Distributors Association and the Ministry of Energy to provide rate relief measures to its customers, including putting forward the option of a single interim rate to replace Time-of-Use during the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier today, the Ministry of Energy and Provincial government officially announced that they will temporarily end time-of-use electricity rates and only charge off-peak rates for hydro for the next 45 days, effective March 24, 2020 at 12:00a.m EST.

“We have heard our customers’ concerns about Time-of-Use rates during these unprecedented times and understand the impact this will have. We have been working with other utilities across Ontario, with our Association, and with the Government to implement rate relief measures that will help our customers over the coming weeks.” Joe Barile, General Manager, Essex Powerlines.

The off-peak and weekend electricity rate is 10.1 cents per kilowatt-hour, compared to mid-peak rates of 14.4 cents per kilowatt-hour and on-peak rates of 20.8 cents per kilowatt-hour. A rate of 10.1 cents per kilowatt-hour will be implemented around the clock to help lessen the burden of customers while they are working from home. The implemented off-peak rates apply to all customers who are billed under time of use pricing, including residential customers, farmers and small businesses.

“The safety of our customers, staff, and communities are our top priority at Essex Powerlines. The rate relief measures in place will allow our customers to be able to focus on their own safety and the safety of their loved ones during these difficult times,” Joe Barile, General Manager, Essex Powerlines.

Essex Powerlines has already committed to voluntarily suspend electricity disconnections in light of the Provincial announcement declaring a State of Emergency. Essex Powerlines has committed to a three-month extension of the disconnection moratorium for its customers, effective March 17, 2020. The change to the disconnection moratorium is meant to help customers who are working from home and who are in need of financial assistance. Essex Powerlines recognizes the importance of continuing to serve its customers reliably, safely and efficiently, and as such, a temporary relief for customers who are in need will ensure just that.