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Dynamic Rate Plan FAQs

If you don’t see an answer to your question, or you need additional assistance, please write to us at AdvantagePower@AlectraUtilities.com or call our Customer Care Centre at 1-844-952-5291.

How does this affect my bill?
  • During Phase 1 (September 1, 2017 to February 28, 2018), your bill remains unaffected. You will continue to receive your regular electricity bill from Alectra Utilities, according to normal Time-of-Use (TOU) prices. Please continue to pay this bill in a timely manner. At the end of Phase 1, you will receive an on-bill credit for the amount you saved, up to $500. If you do not achieve any savings during Phase 1, you will not be responsible for any additional costs.

    Throughout Phase 1, you will also receive monthly reports that compare the cost of electricity you used under TOU to what you would have paid under APP-Dynamic. The report also includes a calculation of your electricity savings, but does not contain any ‘Delivery’ or ‘Regulatory’ charges. The savings on your report for December 2017 will be the amount that you will see as a bill credit on your Alectra Utilities bill.

    Once Phase 2 commences, the electricity costs on your monthly bill will be based on the APP-Dynamic rates. Your bill will still show standard TOU rates, but the difference between the cost of electricity you used under the TOU rates and the APP-Dynamic rates will be added as a credit or debit on your next bill. The amount of the debit or credit will be shown in the monthly report that will be mailed to you. You will have two weeks between when you receive your monthly report and when your bill credit/debit is added to your next bill. If you withdraw from the program in the two weeks after you receive your monthly report, then the bill credit/debit will not be added to your Alectra Utilities bill.

    Customers are advised to review their monthly reports for any cost impacts that occur under the Advantage Power Pricing program.

How can this reduce my energy costs?
  • During the trial period, you will pay the low Off-peak price of 4.9¢/kWh for electricity over 80% of the time. This low rate means that you’ll be spending less on electricity under APP-Dynamic than you would under Time-of-Use. By managing your consumption in the remaining periods, especially during High On-peak and Critical Peak price periods, you can reduce your overall cost of electricity. In particular, avoid running appliances that consume a lot of electricity during On-peak periods. These appliances include electric clothes dryers, electric water heaters, pool pumps, electric ranges and ovens. Also, turn off lights and electronic devices that aren’t being used.

    You can also schedule your thermostat to reduce cooling during the On-peak periods, and even to pre-cool your home in anticipation of the On-peak period that begins at 3:00 p.m. If you have an Energate Foundation thermostat, you can set it to adjust the temperature of your home in anticipation of On-peak periods and to curtail it during the On-peak period. You will be able to save money by reducing the amount of electricity you consume during On-peak times. This means either shifting your consumption from On-peak to Off-peak periods, or simply reducing your consumption during On-peak periods.

    Over the course of the trial period, you will likely see significant savings from APP-Dynamic relative to Time-of-Use rates through the “shoulder” months of Spring and Fall, when homes don’t need much heating or cooling. During the hottest and coldest months, there will be more Medium, High and Critical Peak days. Depending on your response to the greater frequency of these higher-priced periods that are likely in these months, you may see limited or even negative savings in these months. Taking action by making modest efforts to reduce consumption on days with higher prices will help you to achieve the most savings.

How will I know how much I’m saving?
  • Your monthly report compares the cost of the electricity you used under the Time-of-Use (TOU) cost structure to what you would have paid under the APP-Dynamic cost structure. It will also show you a cumulative total of your savings to date. At the end of Phase 1, you will be issued a bill credit for the total savings (up to $500) shown on the December 2017 report. You are responsible for tracking your own savings and tracking whether you have exceeded the maximum incentive amount. Alectra Utilities is not responsible for any increases in your electricity costs if you continue to shift your consumption to benefit from APP-Dynamic after you have reached the maximum incentive amount of $500.

    Once Phase 2 begins, a bill credit or debit will be added to your next monthly bill equal to the price difference between APP-Dynamic and regular Time-of-Use. You will still receive your regular bill following the TOU structure, but you will also receive your monthly report with the price difference. The difference between the price under the TOU rate and the APP-Dynamic rate will be added as a credit or debit to your next bill. You will also be able to see more information on your cost difference or previous monthly reports at AlectraUtilities.com/AdvantagePower/Portal.

Do you offer incentives on smart thermostats?
  • Yes! Please visit our APP Technology page for more information about our smart thermostat incentives.

What tools can help me save?
  • Visit our APP Technology page to find out more about how home energy management technology can help you feel comfortable and reduce your energy costs - you can even get an incentive of $50 for signing up!

    Your monthly report compares the cost of the electricity you used under the Time-of-Use cost structure to what you would have paid under the APP-Dynamic structure. Using this consumption and price data, you can manage your electricity consumption and this can ultimately lead to savings.

    The online Customer Portal provides another layer of information beyond what’s in your monthly report. You can view your previous daily consumption, see detailed comparisons of your usage, and you can even select a subset of similar customers to compare yourself to. You can also view copies of all previous monthly reports. The portal is accessible at AlectraUtilities.com/AdvantagePower/Portal.

    Electricity conservation programs can also help you reduce your electricity bill and save money. Learn more about our programs at www.ComfortableSavings.com.

How much energy do my appliances use?
  • You can increase your home’s energy efficiency through simple changes to the devices that use energy in your home and the way that you use them. For example, weatherstripping and insulation will help reduce the amount of energy your heating and cooling system needs to keep your home comfortable, while power bars with timers can turn off electronic equipment that otherwise would consume electricity, even when turned off. You could also be eligible to get incentives to buy more energy-efficient appliances like furnaces and air conditioners. Visit www.ComfortableSavings.com for more information.

    The Independent Electricity System Operator also has efficiency tips and tools for home on their website.

What are the summer and winter rate periods?
  • The summer and winter rate periods run on the same schedule as the standard Time-of-Use rates. The summer rates run from May 1st – October 31st while the winter rates run from November 1st – April 30th.

How are prices set?
  • The rates for electricity in Advantage Power Pricing (APP) are provided by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB), which also sets Time-of-Use (TOU) rates. The OEB uses the same provincial costs that are used to calculate standard TOU rates, ensuring consistency and fairness.

    APP is designed to be revenue-neutral between a customer on APP who does not shift their consumption into the lower-priced periods, and one on standard TOU rates. This makes it relevant as a trial program and ensures fairness for all Ontario ratepayers. For a customer with an average consumption profile who doesn’t shift their consumption, the change in costs is expected to be minimal.

    As APP is intended to be revenue-neutral with respect to TOU rates, changes in the TOU rates will result in changes to APP rates as well. APP prices may change on May 1, 2018 to conincide with any changes to Ontario’s Regulated Price Plan.

    It is important to note that Alectra Utilities collects electricity revenues on behalf of electricity generators, and passes it on to them without holdback or markup. Alectra Utilities’ revenue is collected through regulated distribution charges, listed on the “Distribution” line of your Alectra Utilities bill.

How will I know the On-peak price for each day?
  • There are several ways that you can be informed of the On-peak price in effect each day. Remember that On-peak prices are only in effect on weekdays; weekends and holidays are always Off-peak.

    • You can elect to sign-up to receive daily price updates via email or text message; these updates will be provided at approximately 4:00 p.m. the day before the new price is implemented. By default, customers will be enrolled to receive email notifications, but customers can choose communications through either, both or neither email or text messages.
    • You can log into the Advantage Power Pricing (APP) Customer Portal, which provides current and next day (after 2 p.m.) prices. It also provides a five-day forecast of On-peak prices. Visit the APP Customer Portal at www.PowerStream.ca/AdvantagePower/Portal.
What is Critical Peak Pricing (CPP)?
  • Critical Peak Pricing (CPP) is activated on the days with the highest demand for electricity on Ontario’s electricity system. High demand makes the electricity system operate less efficiently, which makes electricity more expensive. CPP events may take place between the hours of 12:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., for a maximum of four hours. Customers will always be given at least two hours’ notice before a CPP event. There will be six CPP events that occur during the highest forecast demand in each of the summer and winter seasons.

I have questions, who do I call?
What happens at the end of the program?
  • The APP-Dynamic trial is scheduled to end on February 28, 2019. You will receive your final bill credit or debit on your March 2019 bill. More information will be provided to participants during the program.

Am I committed to staying in the program?
  • You are not committed to staying in the program until it ends on February 28, 2019. You can withdraw from the program at any time without penalty.

    However, keep in mind that during Phase 1, there is no risk that you’ll pay more under APP-Dynamic than you would under Time-of-Use rates during Phase 1. You’ll receive payment for your APP-Dynamic savings at the end of Phase 1. Once Phase 2 commences, there will be no bill protection and a credit or debit will be added to your bill. At this point, if the impact of APP-Dynamic on your bill is not what you expected, you are not committed to staying in the program.