THUNDER BAY – Thunder Bay Hydro customers will see several changes in their electricity rates effective May 1, 2012. The most important information for consumers is that Time-of-Use (TOU) periods do a flip for the summer months. This means that the ON peak period migrates to the ‘afternoon’ time of 11:00 am to 5:00 pm and ‘mealtimes’ (7:00 am to 11:00 am and 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm) now become MID peak periods.
On the “Distribution” line of bills, rates are scheduled to drop by 27.3 % for residential customers and 20.1% for small business customers. This is due to a drop in charges that are passed on to provincial entities and a Smart Meter charge which is being removed temporarily. The Smart Meter charge will be resumed once the Ontario Energy Board provides a decision on the final approved amount. This decision is expected to diminish the decrease to about 10%.
For the commodity of electricity, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has increased Time-of-Use prices.
- 6.5 ¢ for OFF peak (previously 6.2 ¢)
- 10.0 ¢ for MID peak (previously 9.2 ¢)
- 11.7 ¢ for ON peak (previously 10.8 ¢)
The new prices do not apply to consumers who have fixed-rate contracts with energy retailers. They’ll continue to pay their contract rate, plus the “global adjustment” charge. The global adjustment is already rolled into the regulated rates.
According to the OEB, the price change for consumers on TOU pricing is an increase of approximately $3.99 on the “Electricity” line, or about 3.3% on the total monthly bill, for a residential consumer with a typical consumption pattern who uses 800 kWh per month. Each consumer will see changes based on when they choose to shift their high consumption times.
Tips to Save Energy in the Summer
How To Cut Your Summer Time Electricity Consumption
- Ditch the Dryer
- Use a clothes line to dry clothes in the summer.
Cooling Ideas for Saving Energy
- Draw window blinds and shades in the afternoons
- Open windows at night, close them in the morning for the day
- Create Your Own Micro-Climate
- Trees and vines can create a cool microclimate that reduces the temperature by as much as 9 degrees. During photosynthesis, large amounts of water vapor escape through the leaves, cooling the passing air
- Vines are a quick way to provide shading and cooling. Grown on trellises, vines can shade the whole side of a house. Set trellises away from your house to allow air to circulate and to keep the vines from attaching to your house’s facade and damaging its exterior. Placing vegetation too close to your house can actually trap heat and make the air around your house even warmer
- Plant deciduous trees; they provide shade in the summer, then lose their leaves and allow sunlight to warm your house in the winter. The taller varieties of trees will shade your roof as well as your walls.
For those with Air Conditioners
- Set the thermostat at 78° or higher – a reasonably comfortable and energy efficient indoor temperature. A 78° setting will save you about 15 percent or more on cooling costs over a 72° setting;
- Don’t set the thermostat at a colder than normal setting. It will not cool the house any faster, but, as with the furnace, will simply overshoot the desired temperature and waste energy;
- Clean or replace filters at least once a month;
- Turn off the air conditioner when you are going to be gone for several hours and draw the shades to keep heat out. It takes less energy to re-cool the house when you return than it does to keep it cool while you are gone;
- Avoid positioning heat-producing appliances, such as televisions or lamps, near the thermostat. The heat they produce “fools” the thermostat and causes the unit to run longer than necessary;
- Room air conditioners should fit snugly to window frames. Close heat ducts in the room and remove or seal up the unit with plastic after the cooling season;
- Have your central air conditioning unit checked and tuned when you have your furnace serviced;
- Periodically clean and vacuum the grills, coils and cooling fins on the outside unit and keep them clear of leaves and other obstructions.