If it seems like energy prices are rising every six months, that’s because they are.
In November, energy prices were raised an amount that would cost the average Ontario home owner an extra $4.42 on their monthly energy line and 3.4% more on their total bill. Six months before that, the prices were increased to the tune of approximately $5.71 on the monthly energy line and 4.6% on the total bill.
Now, they’re on the rise again. As of May 1, 2016 (your next energy bill), the prices have been raised 0.4¢ during off- and mid-peak hours and 0.5¢ during on-peak hours.
The peak hours were also switched back from the winter orientation to summer, which means that on-peak hours are 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, off-peak are 7:00 pm to 7:00 am and mid-peak are 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm and 7:00 am to 11:00 am. Here’s a good chart from the Ontario Energy Board website:
According to the OEB’s news release, this will translate to an increase of approximately $3.13 per month on the electricity line and 2.5% on the total bill for a household consuming 750 kWh per month.
These increases have been coming every six months for the past couple of years and may continue to do so. The rising prices really place importance on the efficiency of your home comfort systems and when you run them.
Here are two ways you can keep costs low, as prices get higher:
The price increases are based on hourly usage, which means you can take advantage of the off peak hours using a programmable thermostat.
Use a programmable thermostat to set a schedule around the peak hours. For example, you could turn the temperature down shortly before the start of the on-peak hours and back up when they start so that you reduce some of the extra charges. Customizing to the peak-pricing system will help you save money.
Upgrade your system
HVAC systems are constantly improving. The efficiency from older systems to the newer models is so significant that you can notice an immediate change on your energy bills. Even the increase in energy prices won’t be able to eliminate those savings.
Also, this happens to be a great time to upgrade your system because of the available manufacturer rebates and provincial incentives, such as Daikin’s current offer which could save you up to $1,850 on a new furnace and air conditioner.