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Seasonal cottagers and campers bracing for a hydro hike

Reference: CTV News

SUDBURY -- A dreaded rate increase could soon be coming to cottagers and campers who use seasonal rate payers under Hydro One.

The Ontario Energy Board ruled Hydro One had to eliminate the rate which it had offered to many over the past four decades. Hydro One is now in the process of sending out new notices where rate payers will find themselves classified as either urban, medium or low density.

"That's going to have implications for about 80,000 seasonal rate payers whose rates will essentially double when that goes into effect," said Terry Rees, executive director of the Federation of Ontario Cottager's Associations. (FOCA)

Electricity Pricing | FOCA

Rees is referencing low density rate payers in which Hydro One will reportedly have to spend more money to service those areas.

According to their figures, under 2022 pricing, seasonal rate payers who were using 50 kWh were paying roughly $54.06. Under the new changes, they'll be looking an increase of $53.79.

"There had been a class for the past 40 years called seasonal which was meant to capture like-minded consumers who are rural and they're there for only part of the year. Hydro One's been told by the Ontario Energy Board that these people should be reclassified," he said.

"The north is where there will be a tremendous amount of impact because if you're a low density customer that needs lots of line between you and the next camp or cabin, those are the people that are going to see the worst impacts so people are really concerned," Rees added. "Affordability's already a big challenge and the pandemic's put us under a whole new layer of strain."

CTVNews reached out to the Ontario Energy Board for comment.

It responded, saying it found the distribution rates currently charged to seasonal customers were not reflecting the cost to serve them.

The decision had initially been made in 2015 and was confirmed in 2020 after a hearing was held to consider a proposal to maintain the seasonal class by Hydro One.

Implementation of the OEB Decision to eliminate the Hydro One Seasonal Rate Class | Ontario Energy Board

"The OEB has begun a proceeding and has directed Hydro One to bring forward an implementation plan for eliminating the seasonal rate class, including a rate mitigation plan," it added... Read More