By Chad Ingram
Seasonal residents in the county may want to keep an eye out for letters from Hydro One, with details on the next step of the process by which the Ontario Energy Board is eliminating the seasonal rate class.
As previously reported, on Sept. 17, the Ontario Energy Board, the province’s energy regulator, ruled to uphold a 2015 directive that Hydro One eliminate the seasonal rate classification from its billing system, placing seasonal properties under existing density-based classifications, based on their physical location.
“Every seasonal resident will be receiving a detailed letter from Hydro One,” Spencer Gill, vice president of customer service for the utility, told the Echo, explaining those letters contained information on how customers could provide input on the next phases of implementation.
The crux of the OEB’s justification for the change is that under the seasonal property classification, seasonal property owners, depending on the location of their properties, do not necessarily pay their fair share in terms of infrastructure and delivery costs.
Seasonal properties will be reclassified as either medium-density (R1) or low-density (R2), and bills for properties that are re-classified as R2 are the ones that will see an increase, of close to $1,000 per year in some cases, according to Hydro One. Of the approximately 154,000 seasonal properties in Ontario, some 84,000 will be reclassified as R2, and some 70,000 as R1. It’s possible that properties in the R1 category will see only small increases, effectively no change, or even small decreases in the size of their bills, depending upon location.
Implementation of the new billing structure could come as soon as 2022, and Gill said he encouraged all seasonal customers to get involved by providing input.