Proposal to Adjust the Eligibility for the Ontario Electricity Rebate (OER)
Bill or Act:
Ontario Rebate for Electricity Consumers Act, 2016
Summary of Proposal:
The OER provides eligible electricity consumers with a percentage-based reduction calculated based on the amount of their electricity bill before HST.
Currently, eligible accounts under O. Reg. 363/16 (the "Regulation") made under the Ontario Rebate for Electricity Consumers Act, 2016 (ORECA) include:
• Low-volume consumers (i.e. consumers that use 250,000 kWh of electricity a year or less or whose demand is 50 kilowatts or less);
• Farms that meet prescribed requirements under the Regulation;
• Long-term care homes licensed under the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007, other than where the account of the long-term care home is also in respect of a hospital; and
• Certain multi-unit complexes such as condominiums and apartments buildings that meet prescribed requirements under the Regulation.
At the time when OER was introduced, the eligibility rules were adjusted relative to the previous 8% rebate in order to narrow and bring further clarity to the eligibility requirements under the Regulation. This was intended to help ensure the rebate was targeted to intended beneficiaries (i.e., primarily residential).
Energy, Northern Development and Mines (ENDM) is consulting on eligibility requirements, particularly for consumers that are currently grandfathered under section 1.2 of the regulation, in advance of the end of the grandfathering period on October 31, 2022.
ENDM is considering proposing amendments to the Regulation that would revise the definition of "eligible account," which could include:
1) multi-unit complex common areas that have a separate account with, and are individually metered directly by, the electricity vendor (e.g., local distribution company) and that consume more than 250,000 kilowatt-hours per year or whose demand exceeds 50 kilowatts;
2) mobile home parks used as long-term residences; and
3) other multi-unit complexes that are used for residential purposes but are not currently eligible, such as certain senior citizens' residences and multi-unit complexes that do not have separate kitchens and bathrooms in the units.
As part of the transition to the OER, a grandfathering period was introduced (currently ending on October 31, 2022) for consumers that are not eligible for the OER but were previously receiving the former 8% rebate as of October 22, 2019, if they met requirements to provide notice to their electricity vendor before February 1, 2020.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
May 25, 2021
Comments Due Date:
July 26, 2021
Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines
77 Grenville Street, 7th Floor