Overview

Most electricity customers in Ontario can choose how their electricity is billed. You have the flexibility to choose a pricing plan that best suits your lifestyle and individual electricity use.

Eligible customers can choose between:

  • time-of-use (TOU) rates
  • tiered rates

You can request to switch between TOU and tiered pricing at any time, including switching back to your previous pricing model if you wish. Contact your local distribution company (LDC) to apply to change your electricity rate plan, by completing and submitting an election form.

Who is eligible

As of November 1, 2020, Regulated Price Plan (RPP) electricity customers can choose either time-of-use (TOU) pricing and tiered pricing plans. RPP customers include most:

  • households
  • small businesses
  • farms

Who is not eligible

A small number of customers cannot switch between rate plans. These include customers who:

  • are not reached by the telecommunications infrastructure needed to support time-of-use pricing
  • chose to leave the RPP, generally through signing a contract with an electricity retailer
  • are bulk metered, for example residents living in a condominium building or rental building who are not individually metered

Time-of-use (TOU) rates

The time-of-use (TOU) rate is the default electricity rate for most homes and businesses. TOU rates vary according to the time of day and are divided into three rate periods:

  • off-peak
  • mid-peak
  • on-peak

Off-peak (green)

Demand for electricity is lowest during off-peak periods:

  • all-day on weekends and statutory holidays
  • summer and winter nights between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Mid-peak (yellow)

Demand is moderate during mid-peak periods:

  • summer between 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • winter between 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

On-peak (red)

Demand is highest during on-peak period:

  • summer between 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • winter between 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

TOU periods are adjusted by time of year in winter and summer to reflect the changing pattern of Ontario’s electricity use.

Winter

Illustration of a time-of-use clock with winter hours

Summer

Illustration of a time-of-use clock with summer hours

See a sample electricity bill with TOU rates.

See the current TOU rate prices.

How to know if TOU pricing is right for you

If you use most of your electricity during off-peak hours (evenings and weekends), and have higher electricity demands, time-of-use may be your preferred pricing plan.

Time-of-use pricing may be right for you if, for example:

  • you work outside the home during the day and do your dishes and laundry in the evening
  • you have a large family or many people in your household, with higher electricity usage
  • you have an electric vehicle (EV) that you charge overnight
  • you work shift work, and use most of your electricity in the evenings
Time-of-use Illustration of a home at night

Tiered rates

With tiered rates, electricity prices remain constant during the day, but shift if more than a certain set amount of electricity is used during the course of a month.

Tiered rates have a lower price for electricity consumption below a set amount used in a month, and another higher rate for electricity consumption above that set amount of electricity used.

See the current tiered rate prices.

Residential customers

Residential tiered customers pay a lower rate for electricity used:

  • up to 1,000 kWh/month in the winter
  • up to 600 kWh/month in the summer

A second higher rate is charged for electricity used:

  • over 1,000 kWh/month in the winter
  • over 600 kWh/month in the summer

Non-residential customers

Under tiered rate pricing, non-residential customers are charged a lower rate for electricity use up to 750 kWh/month for all seasons.

A second higher rate is charged for all electricity used over 750 kWh/month for all seasons.

Illustration of tiered usage

See a sample electricity bill with tiered rates.

How to know if tiered pricing is right for you

If you use most of your electricity during weekday hours, and do not exceed a set amount of electricity, tiered pricing may be a better option.

Tiered pricing may be best for you, if for example:

  • you are retired and spend a lot of time at home and do most of your laundry and cooking during the day
  • you live alone or in a smaller property and thus have lower electricity usage
  • you spend very little time at home, and therefore use less electricity
Illustration of a home during the daytime

Contact your local distribution company (LDC) for more information or use the Ontario Energy Board’s Bill Calculator to help determine which rate plan is best for you.