With the upcoming provincewide lockdown just days away from coming into effect, Premier Doug Ford announced Ontario will once again lower hydro rates during the period.
On Tuesday, Premier Ford said the provincial government will be introducing a discounted off-peak electricity rate of 8.5 cents per kilowatt an hour for time-of-use and tiered customers.
The new rate will be in place for 28 days starting on January 1, 2021, and it will be applied automatically to the bills of all residential, small business, and farm customers who pay regulated rates.
“We are asking people to make greater sacrifices to help contain this deadly virus, whether that’s staying home or asking their employees to work from home where possible,” said Ford. “In response, our government is providing people and businesses with additional financial relief to help them get through this very difficult period.”
"This has been a challenging year, and we’re thankful that customers will receive this relief when it’s needed most," said Hydro One in a statement.
The latest announcements regarding Ontarians’ hydro bills come as a provincewide shutdown is set to begin on Boxing Day for 14 days for northern Ontario and 28 days for southern Ontario.
Hydro One also noted that its Pandemic Relief Program is available and offers increased payment flexibility and financial assistance to customers experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19.
In addition to the lowering of hydro costs, Ford also announced the government is expanding the provincial Support for Learners program, which will allow parents to receive a one-time payment of $200 per eligible secondary school student to help with additional costs due to COVID-19.