On March 2, the provincial government unveiled its Ontario Fair Hydro Plan. Starting in the summer of 2017, electricity bills for residential customers are to be lowered by 25% on average. The plan includes other measures and the government notes that all measures include the 8% rebate introduced in January. As part of the plan, rate increases over the next four years are to be held to the rate of inflation for all electricity customers.
In its most recent 18-month outlook for the reliability of the Ontario electricity system, the IESO indicates that peak demand continues to face downward pressure as a result of conservation savings, growing embedded generation output and the Industrial Conservation Initiative.
The provincial government released its 5-year plan to fight climate change, reduce greenhouse gas pollution and transition to a low-carbon economy.
The provincial government passed the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-Carbon Economy Act. The cap and trade program is scheduled for implementation at the beginning of 2017. The cap and trade regulations that go with the legislation have been finalized and come into force on July 1, 2016.
The OEB released the latest monitoring report from the Market Surveillance Panel. The report examines the IESO-administered electricity markets for the period November 2014 to April 2015.
The OEB has set new time-of-use electricity commodity prices effective May 1. All prices increase with off-peak prices increasing by 0.4 cents/kWh, mid-peak by 0.4 cents and on-peak by 0.5 cents.
In its latest outlook for the reliability of the Ontario electricity system, the IESO indicates that over the period April 2016 to September 2017 approximately 1,400 MW of new supply will be added to the transmission grid: 950 MW of wind, 300 MW of gas and 140 MW of solar generation.
The OEB is conducting a consultation to develop a regulatory framework to guide its assessment of the natural gas distributors' cap and trade compliance plans. The target date for completion of the framework is October 2016. The OEB notes that the design of the Ontario cap and trade program is not the subject of the consultation.
The provincial government introduced the proposed Climate Change Mitigation and Low Carbon Economy Act, which it says is intended to ensure that proceeds from the province's cap and trade system are reinvested into green projects and actions that will reduce greenhouse gas pollution. The government also posted draft cap and trade regulations for comment.
The Ontario Government has announced its intention to invest $100 million from the Ontario Green Investment Fund to help homeowners reduce their energy bills and cut greenhouse gas emissions. The initiative is in partnership with Enbridge Gas Distribution and Union Gas. Details of the program are still to be announced.