If you are a residential customer, you can choose between three electricity price plan options: Time-of-Use (“TOU”), Ultra-Low Overnight (“ULO”) or Tiered.
You can switch between these options at anytime, but you must notify Elexicon Energy by completing an election form. If you want to stay on your current price plan, no action is required.
With TOU and ULO, the price depends on when you use electricity. This means you can help manage your electricity costs by shifting your usage to lower price periods when possible.
With Tiered, the price depends on how much electricity you use overall in a month.
There are three TOU price periods:
Off-peak, when demand for electricity is generally lower. Ontario households use the majority of their electricity – nearly two thirds of it – during off-peak hours.
Mid-peak, when demand for electricity is moderate. These periods are during the daytime, but not the busiest times of day.
On-peak, when demand for electricity is generally higher. These are the busiest times of day – typically when people are cooking, starting up their computers and running heaters or air conditioners.
Note: TOU price periods are different in the summer (May 1 to October 31) than they are in the winter (November 1 to April 30).
If you want to continue paying TOU prices, you don’t need to do anything.
There are four ULO price periods:
ULO Ultra-Low Overnight, when demand for electricity is lowest on average.
ULO Weekend Off-peak, when demand for electricity is generally lower.
ULO Mid-peak, when demand for electricity is moderate.
ULO On-peak, when demand for electricity is highest on average.
Note: The ULO price periods are the same in the summer as they are in the winter.
With Tiered prices, you can use a certain amount of electricity each month at a lower price. Once that limit (called a threshold) is exceeded, a higher price applies. The threshold changes with the season to reflect changing usage patterns – for example, there are fewer hours of daylight in the winter and some customers use electric heating.
In the winter period (November 1 to April 30), the Tier threshold for residential customers is 1,000 kWh, so that during the heating season households can use more power at the lower price. In the summer period (May 1 to October 31), the Tier threshold for residential customers is 600 kWh.
Tiered prices give you the flexibility to use electricity at any time of day at the same price, although that price will change if you exceed the threshold during the month.
Power is personal. Some customers may prefer TOU or ULO prices. For instance, customers who work different shifts may be able to use more of their electricity at times when lower off-peak prices apply, and some customers, like those who charge their electric vehicles, may also want to take advantage of the ULO price that applies from 11 p.m. until 7 a.m. every day. Others may favour Tiered prices because they want the flexibility to do their household chores at any time of the day, or their total usage rarely exceeds 600 kWh in a month in summer, or 1,000 kWh in a month in winter.
Are you thinking about changing your price plan? Here are a few things to consider. Make sure you have some of your recent electricity bills handy as you go through the information below.
What electricity price plan are you on? If you’re unsure, take a look at the Electricity line of your bill. Most residential customers in Ontario pay TOU prices.
How much electricity do you use in a month? If you’re unsure, take a look at the Electricity line on your bill. You might also want to look at the historical usage graph on your bill, which shows your average daily usage over the past 12-month period.
When you use electricity can be another factor in your choice. Historically, the typical customer who paid TOU prices has used nearly two thirds of their power at off-peak times – the time when the lowest TOU price applies. The other third of their power used was typically split equally between on- and mid-peak times. Look at the Electricity line of your bill to see how much power you use in each of the three TOU price periods.
TOU price periods and the Tier threshold for residential customers change with the season and are different during the winter (November 1 to April 30) and summer (May 1 to October 31). ULO price periods are the same all year round.
Does the amount of electricity you use change based on the season?
For instance, if you heat your home electrically, your monthly use in the winter may be higher. The same goes for the summer if you need to run your air conditioner.
Are you often home during the day on weekdays, so that shifting your usage is more challenging? Do you have large appliances that you need to run during the day on weekdays? Can you shift more of that usage to nighttime or weekend hours?
There is no guarantee you will save money switching from one price plan to another. The total bill impact of switching will vary depending on how much electricity is consumed in a month and when it is consumed during the day. Compare TOU, ULO and Tiered prices using this bill calculator, provided by the Ontario Energy Board.
A switch between price plans can only take effect at the start of a billing period. A billing period is generally around 30 days, but can vary. The start and end dates are identified on your electricity bill. The start of your billing period can be any given day of a month. Other information to know about:
If you want to continue paying TOU prices, you don’t need to do anything. To switch to ULO or Tiered pricing, select one of the options below. The following also applies if you later want to switch back to TOU pricing.