Collus PowerStream

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we need smart meters?

It is estimated that over the next twenty years, Ontario will need to refurbish, rebuild, replace, or conserve 25,000 megawatts (MW) worth of generating capacity — more than 80% of Ontario's current electricity generating capacity — at an estimated cost of $70 billion. Producing more electricity is only part of the answer.

Conservation and demand management will help us make the best use of our existing electricity resources and slow our growth in demand. We have tremendous opportunities to reduce the supply-demand gap through the wise use of electricity. Smart meters, together with time-of-use prices, help encourage us all to think about how and when we use electricity.

What are Time-of-Use (TOU) prices?

Time-of-use (TOU) prices, as the name suggests, are electricity prices that vary based on the time of day, day of week (weekdays versus weekend), and by season (winter or summer). These more accurately reflect the cost to produce electricity at different times.

Prices for electricity rise and fall over the course of the day, and tend to drop overnight and on weekends based on the amount of supply available and our levels of demand. TOU periods and prices are set by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) and are subject to change each May and November.

The current periods and prices are shown in the table below. TOU prices are changed May 1 and November 1 each year.

What is the debt retirement charge and when will it be coming off the bill?

Responsibility for managing the stranded debt of the former Ontario Hydro, which is funded through the debt retirement charge. This was assigned to the Ontario Electricity Financial Corporation, an agency of the Ministry of Finance. The debt retirement charge will be removed from residential customers January 1, 2016.  It will remain for all other users, including small commercial and industrial.  For more information on the debt retirement charge visit the Ministry of Finance webpage at www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/tax/drc/ and for more information on the stranded debt, please visit the Ontario Energy Finance Corporation website at www.oefc.on.ca.

What is the Global Adjustment?

All customers in Ontario who pay either the Hourly Ontario Energy Price or who are on a retail contract are required to pay the global adjustment.  The global  adjustment is used to track and capture the difference between the market price of electricity and the contract price of electricity.  In addition, the Ontario Power Authority saveONenergy conservation and demand management programs are funded through the global adjustment.  For more information visit, the Ontario Power Authority at www.powerauthority.on.ca/about-us/electricity-pricing-ontario/understanding-electricity-system-costs/understanding-global-adjustment, or the Independent Electricity System Operator at ieso-public.sharepoint.com/Pages/Ontario's-Power-System/Electricity-Pricing-in-Ontario/Global-Adjustment.aspx.

Who approves electricity rates in Ontario?

Electricity prices in Ontario, which include the price of electricity and distribution rates charged by Local Distribution Companies (LDCs) such as Collus PowerStream, are approved and regulated by the Ontario Energy Board.  For more on what the Ontario Energy Board does, www.ontarioenergyboard.ca/OEB/Consumers/OEB+and+You/About+the+OEB.