New Hydro One rates — seasonal rates have ended

As of January 2023, Hydro One has implemented changes to the power rates that many residents of Golden Lake pay. The Ontario Energy Board initially ordered the power company to eliminate the seasonal rate class (which many GLPOA members were covered by) in 2015, but the issue continued to be debated after that. According to Hydro’s website, the decision to end seasonal rates was based on the OEB’s determination that “delivery rates charged to seasonal customers are subsidized by other customers and don’t reflect the actual cost to serve them.”

The decision to drop the seasonal rate was confirmed in 2020, and Hydro One announced it would end as of December, 2022 and new fees would begin in January of 2023. All previously seasonal customers should have received a letter by December of 2022, letting them know which of the three residential rate classes their account would be moved to as of January 1, 2023. Hydro One explains the new changes on its website, but the bottom line is that power customers are being separated into three segments, as described below:

Phased in over 10 years

Both GLPOA and the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations (FOCA) lobbied for the implementation of new rates to be phased in over time, to help soften the blow of what for some was likely to be a significant increase in their power rates. As a result of these and other negotiations, Hydro One agreed to phase in the increase over 10 years, with a promise not to increase any property owner’s bill by more than 10 percent in any given year. Below is a table where the company showed what the anticipated effect would be for some seasonal owners:

Some will pay less than before

According to Hydro One, some customers who use a lot of electricity will see a reduction on their total bill. This is because the increase in the service charge is entirely offset by a lower distribution volume charge. The company has a description of the different rate classes on its website. There is a year-round seasonal category, but in order to be included in this class, you have to live in the seasonal residence for at least four days of the week for eight months of the year and you must not reside anywhere else for more than three days a week during eight months of the year. The address of this property must appear on your driver’s licence, credit card invoices, property tax bill, etc., and if you are eligible to vote, this address must be your address for enumeration.