If you’re a residential or small business customer who pays Time-of-Use (TOU) electricity prices, you can now choose to switch to Tiered or Ultra-Low Overnight prices. If you want to continue paying TOU prices, no action is required.
For more information on Time-of-Use, Ultra-Low Overnight and Tiered Pricing and tools to help you decide which price structure is right for you, please visit www.oeb.ca/choice.
How to change your price plan
The fastest way to change your price plan is online using our self-service My Account portal.
- Sign up or login to My Account.
- From My Account dashboard, select Smart Meter from the left navigation menu.
- Select $Price Comparison button to compare TOU, Ultra-Low Overnight and Tiered pricing based on your actual and historical usage.
- Select Change My Rate Plan button.
- Select Submit Change Request button.
The change in the Electricity Rate Plan will not take effect until your next meter read date. Your read dates can be found on your bill under the ‘billing period.’ You should receive written confirmation of this change request within 10 business days.
About Time-of-Use Prices
With TOU prices, the price depends on when you use electricity. You can help manage your electricity costs by shifting your usage to lower price periods when possible.
There are three TOU periods:
- Off-peak: When demand for electricity is lowest. Ontario households use most of their electricity – nearly two thirds of it – during off-peak hours.
- Mid-peak: When demand for electricity is moderate. These periods are during the daytime, but not the busiest times of day.
- On-peak: When demand for electricity is generally higher. These are the busier times of day – generally when people are cooking, starting up their computers and running heaters or air conditioners.
People use electricity differently depending on the season, so the TOU price periods are different in the winter than they are in the summer.
About Ultra-Low Overnight Prices
With Ultra-Low Overnight prices, you will be billed according to the day of the week and time of day you use electricity, but with an ultra-low overnight rate that encourages high electricity usage activities overnight when province-wide electricity demand is lower. The overnight usage would result in energy savings when charging electric vehicles, doing laundry or running the dishwasher. The plan has four price periods, including the ultra-low overnight period between 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. every day and a higher on-peak price for consumption between 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on weekdays, when demand is usually higher. The ULO price periods are the same all year round.
About Tiered Prices
With Tiered prices, you can use a certain amount of electricity each month at a lower price. Once that limit (called a threshold) is exceeded, a higher price applies. For residential customers, the threshold normally changes with the season to reflect changing usage patterns – for example, there are fewer hours of daylight in the winter and some customers use electric heating.
In the winter period (November 1 – April 30), the Tier threshold for residential customers is 1,000 kWh so that households can use more power at the lower price. In the summer period (May 1 – October 31), the Tier threshold for residential customers is 600 kWh.
For small business customers, the Tier threshold is 750 kWh all year round.
Tiered prices give you the flexibility to use electricity at any time of day at the same price, although that price will change if you exceed the threshold during the month.
Considering a Switch?
Are you thinking about opting out your current price plan? Here are a few things to consider. Make sure you have some of your recent electricity bills handy as you go through the information below. Keep in mind the effect of working from home on your electricity use. Most of the information you will need is on the Electricity line of your bill.
- Your price plan
Do you pay TOU, Tiered or ULO prices for your electricity? If you’re unsure, take a look at the Electricity line of your bill. Most residential and small business customers in Ontario pay TOU prices.
- Your usage
How much electricity do you use in a month? If you’re unsure, take a look at the Electricity line on your bill. You might also want to look at the historical usage graph on your bill, which shows your average daily usage over the past 12-month period.
- Your consumption pattern
When you use electricity can be another factor in your choice. Historically, the typical residential customer who paid TOU prices has used nearly two thirds of their power at off-peak times – the time when the lowest TOU price applies. The other third of their power used was typically split equally between on- and mid-peak times. Look at the Electricity line of your bill to see how much power you use in each of the three TOU price periods.
- Seasonal changes and time of year
As described above, the TOU, ULO price periods and Tier thresholds change with the season and are different during the winter (November 1 – April 30) and summer (May 1 – October 31) periods. Does the amount of electricity you use change based on the season?
If you’re thinking about switching, you should pay close attention to how much electricity you use in a month, because on Tiered pricing the price is higher for every kWh of electricity that you use above the Tier threshold of 1,000 kWh in the winter or 600 kWh in the summer. For instance, if you heat your home electrically, your monthly use in the winter may be higher. And the same goes for the summer if you need to run your air conditioner.
With TOU and ULO prices, the price depends on when you use electricity. Although the TOU price periods also change with the season, the electricity you use after 7 p.m. every day, and all the time on weekends and holidays, is charged at the lowest price under TOU all year round.
- Lifestyle and daily habits
Are you often home during the day on weekdays, so that shifting your usage is more challenging? Do you have large appliances that you need to run during the day on weekdays? Can you shift more of that usage to nighttime or weekend hours?
- Small business
If you’re a small business owner, some of the same factors mentioned earlier also apply – how much electricity do you use each month, and when do you use it? Keep in mind that the Tier threshold for small business customers is 750 kWh all year round. And not all small businesses are the same. A large restaurant with several ovens running in the evening may have a very different electricity usage pattern than a small salon that’s only open during the day. So may a dry cleaner compared to a convenience store, or a clothing store compared to a bakery.
Rules for TOU Customer Choice
If you don’t want to switch your current price plan, you don’t need to do anything. You will stay on the current plan.
If you do want to switch your rate plan, here are the rules that apply. These rules also apply if you later want to switch back to another price plan.
- Notify GrandBridge Energy by email or phone, or make the change on My Account portal.
- Within 10 business days of receiving your request to switch plans, GrandBridge Energy must tell you if your request can be processed and must explain why (for instance, if you’re not authorized to make changes to the account, or the account can’t be verified). If there are no issues with your request to switch, GrandBridge Energy has the same 10 business days to let you know when you can expect to start being billed on Tiered prices or Ultra-Low Overnight prices.
- A switch from TOU, ULO or Tiered prices can only take effect at the start of a billing period. You are generally billed for a 30-day period, and the start and end dates are identified on your electricity bill.
- GrandBridge Energy must start charging you on the new price plan as of your next billing period after you submit your request if it receives the notice at least 10 business days before that billing period starts, and provided there are no issues with your request. (see above).
- If GrandBridge Energy receives your request less than 10 business days before the start of your next billing period, it might still be able to switch you for your next billing period. But if it can’t do so, it has to start charging you the new price plan prices at the start of the next billing period after that.
- Because a switch in prices can only take effect at the beginning of a billing period, it will take some time between the day you provide your request and the day you actually start getting charged the new prices.
- If you can switch your price plan at any time. The process described above applies.
- GrandBridge Energy is required to inform all new residential and small business customers that they have a choice between TOU, ULO or Tiered prices when they set up the account.
- The choice between TOU, ULO and Tiered prices is available to nearly all residential and small business customers that have smart meters. Some residential and small business customers are charged Tiered prices because their meters can’t be used to bill TOU or ULO prices. They can’t switch to TOU or ULO prices at this time.
- If you live in a condominium or apartment that has its own individual meter and your bill comes from a company other than GrandBridge Energy, you are a customer of a unit sub-meter provider (USMP). Customers of USMPs also can’t switch their price plan. That decision can only be made for the building as a whole by the “master consumer,” who is the person that retained a USMP for the property. In most cases, the master consumer is the property manager, landlord or condominium board.
- Customers that are buying their electricity from an energy retailer pay the electricity price set out in their contract. Once they have left their retail contract, they will have a choice between paying TOU, ULO or Tiered prices. For details about your energy contract, contact your energy retailer.
For more information about TOU and Tiered pricing, visit www.oeb.ca/choice.