Ontario announces a break on electricity bills as more people spend time at home

Lower rate kicks in on Jan. 18 for three weeks

More people could be working from home and using more hydro as Ontarians navigate the latest COVID-19 restrictions.

The Ford government on Friday announced a break on electricity bills.

The province will lower the cost of hydro to the current off-peak rate of 8.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for 21 days starting on Tuesday, Jan. 18.

It says the reduced rate is less than half the cost of the current daytime rate. This will be in effect 24 hours a day and will be applied automatically to residential, small businesses and farms.

“We know that spending more time at home means using more electricity during the day when prices are higher, that’s why we are moving to off-peak electricity rates 24 hours per day, seven days a week,” said Minister of Energy Todd Smith in a media release. “The off-peak rate will provide immediate savings for families, small businesses and farms as all Ontarians work together to slow the spread of the Omicron variant.”

The province lowered electricity rates to the off-peak rate during the second wave of the pandemic last winter but did not do the same during the third wave of COVID-19 last spring.