March 7, 2016

Toronto Hydro announces rate increase for 2016

An electricity meter is seen in this undated photo.

Toronto residents can expect to spend a few dollars more each month for electricity this year.

In December, Toronto Hydro announced it would increase its rates in 2016, a move expected to cost the average homeowner an estimated $40 more on electricity per year.

On Monday, the energy provider released the details of the rate hike, which came into effect March 1.

According to the release, a customer using 800 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month can expect to pay $6.71 per month or about $80 a year more than they did in 2015.

The Ontario Energy Board has given Toronto Hydro permission to raise rates in the city every year until 2019 and approved $2 billion in capital funding to help improve service and reliability.

Toronto Hydro estimates that electricity rates will go up by an average of $2.44 per month or 1.7 per cent during that time.

However, rates did not change in 2015, so the 4.7 per cent increase for 2016 combines rate hikes for both years.

Toronto Hydro says the average bill currently comes to about $165, including taxes. According to the company’s estimates, that charge will be just over $172 by 2019.

The energy provider says it is using the rate increases to fund improvements to its aging infrastructure.

Toronto’s energy grid is the oldest in the province with approximately 40 per cent of all power outages in the city caused by defective equipment.

With files from Queen’s Park Bureau Chief Paul Bliss