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Become an Educated Energy Consumer    OttawaEnergyAudit     Thursday 21 January 2021
Current Time-of-use pricing is: medium at 19.393¢/kWh
Contact us now to book your audit.

Published Columns: June 2005
Curbing Your Consumption:
Charting the Changes

By John Ford

Start planning ahead for electricity pricing changes.

Starting in April, the stepped rates changed to 9.991¢/kWh for the first 750 kWh per month, and 10.878¢ over 750 kWh.

Future changes include increasing the point at which the stepped rate applies for winter months (Nov - Apr) to 1000 kWh per month. However, starting in April 2006, the stepping point for a higher rate is lowered to only 600 kWh but the rates have not been set yet. There are bigger changes in 2006 starting with the announced smart meter roll-out. According to the government, all of Ontario is to be using smart meters by 2010. Use of the meters will add $3 to $4 to each customer bill and report consumption on an hourly basis. The announced prices (corrected for all included charges) and times are shown in these charts starting 01 April 2006 for weekdays. Weekends and holidays are 7.7¢ all day and night. Winter is from November to April, summer from May to October (source: Ottawa Hydro)

Prices for Smart Meter Customers (Weekday)

How would you take advantage of having a smart meter? In February we covered shifting your load. This price structure now gives an economic pay-off to doing so. Shift your loads seasonally as well.

Start with doing the things which use the most electricity during a cheaper period of time. Save laundry for weekends. Start the dishwasher after 10 p.m. Make sure block heaters are on timers set to turn off before 7 a.m. The next step is to replace appliances with smart appliances which can be programmed to run during off-peak hours. Demand that manufacturers build programmable appliances. We also need to have smart controllers built in to homes to turn heating for water and spaces on during off-peak hours.

Ask the Miser
If you would like to see answers here to your questions about energy consumption, email them to

John Ford is a technology consultant, and owner of a small energy conservation business.