Customer Self Serve


Distribution Rates (Charges to distribute electricity within Innisfil & South Barrie) Effective January 1, 2016

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The Distribution System Code requires that every distributor produce its own "Conditions of Service" document.

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FAQ'S

Energy conservation tips and newsletters?

Information regarding information energy conservation can be found throughout this website, the energy conservation menu link to the left provides many links to sites with helpful tips and information regarding energy conservation.

How to access the accounts online?

Please follow this link. Once you are there click on sign up for a new account. You will need a copy of the bill to find the information required. Once this is successfully completed, you will receive an e-mail with your pin number. Then you will be able to sign in and view your account online.

I am building a new home. How do I apply for hydro service?

Please contact one of our Engineering Technicians at 705-431-4321 to arrange to have a hydro layout drawn up. Just let the office know that you are building a new home and would like to arrange for a layout to be done.

I am installing a fence in my backyard and need the underground wires located. Can you show us where the wires are located, before we start digging?

Yes we can. We offer a free service to locate your underground hydro cables. Please call our office at 705-431-4321 to arrange to have this scheduled. We do require 5 working days to complete.

I am moving to Innisfil. What information do I require in order to apply for hydro service?

The information and forms required for an application are available from our Customer Self Serve section, please use the link below to travel to the Customer Self Serve section for the required forms.

I am selling my home. What information do you require?

We will require a forwarding address, your lawyer’s name, the date of the sale as well as the purchaser’s names if available.

I cannot pay my hydro bill by the requested due date. Can I have an extension?

Contact our office before the due date, and speak to a Customer Service Representative. We will discuss payment arrangements with you, and if an acceptable payment schedule can be arrived at, you may be able to have some time past the due date to pay your total bill.

My bill is too high. Could you tell me where I could possibly use this much power?

As we currently read the meters once a month, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly where you use all of the hydro. Please follow this link and you can perform your own home energy audit online. Although this is only a rough estimate, there is a reference sheet to provide a guideline to what some of the more common appliances use in energy monthly.

Retailer has come to the door – trying to sell low rates. What are the rates with Innisfil Hydro and how do they compare with the rate that the retailer is offering?

If you are a residential or low volume commercial customer, the current rates for the electricity commodity portion of your bill (under the heading “Electricity”) are set by the Ontario Energy Board and are called a “Regulated Price Plan”. Under the Regulated Price Plan, from May 1 to October 31, the current rates are 5.8 cents for the first 600 kWh and 6.7 cents for the balance if more than 600 kWh are used. From November 1 to April 30, the rates are 5.5 cents for the first 1000 kWh and 6.4 cents for the balance if more than 1000 kWh are used.

If you sign a retail contract, all the other charges on your current bill continue to be billed to you, in addition to the charges for the electricity at the retailer’s contract price. Also, you should be aware that if you sign a retail contract, you will be billed a “true-up” on your final Standard Supply Service bill as you will be exiting the Regulated Price Plan.

Retailers approach to sign up for their contracts and insist that if we don’t take their contract we will end up with no hydro supply since they are the only providers. Is this true?

No. Retailer contracts are an option for alternate pricing and you will not lose hydro supply if you do not enter into a contract with them. You will receive the current standard supply rates under the regulated price plan.

Under the equal payment plan, what happens to the credit on my bill, do I need to make a payment this month and when will the first payment come out?

It depends on the time of year that there is a credit on your account. When a new Equal Payment Plan (EPP) year starts each October, the payment required is usually higher than the actual amount due on your account. You should pay more for the first two to three months, then your billings will be greater than your EPP payment during the winter. You should start “catching up” to the actual amount owing by late Spring, and if you have a large credit by mid-summer, there may be a month or two when you can skip making a payment. Your “reconciliation bill” is billed between mid-August and mid-September, any credit on your account (>$25.00) will be refunded to you.

What are PAP forms?

PAP forms are cards that allow you to sign up for pre-authorized payment plans with our office. These are signed and returned to our office with a VOID cheque attached so we can conveniently withdraw your hydro bill for you each month on your due date and you will not have to worry about making those payments on time again.

What happened to the former "Ontario Hydro"?

The former Ontario Hydro was broken into five separate, independent companies. Two of the successor companies, Ontario Power Generation Inc. (OPG) and Hydro One Networks Inc. (HON) are commercial entities. Ontario Power Generation (OPG) generates electricity and competes with other generating companies in the new marketplace. Hydro One Inc. transmits and distributes electricity through its subsidiary, Hydro One Networks Inc. For more information on other Hydro One subsidiaries, please visit the Hydro One website at www.hydroone.com.

The three other entities are:

The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), a not-for-profit crown corporation that runs the electricity exchange for the sale and purchasing of power and arranges for the dispatch of electricity to regulated distribution companies. In turn, these distributors ensure electricity gets to your home. The Electrical Safety Authority is responsible for setting the safety standards for wiring installations and equipment and appliance certification. A crown agency, the Ontario Electricity Financial Corporation, is responsible for determining how electricity consumers will pay down Ontario Hydro's debt.

What is Stray Voltage or Farm Stray Voltage?

Farm ‘stray’ or ‘tingle’ voltages are small electrical potentials between metal stabling/equipment and floor surfaces. Animals that make contact between these surfaces may receive a tingle or mild shock that disturbs the animals’ normal behaviour and can ultimately reduce the efficiency of the farming operation.

An Innisfil Hydro livestock customer may ask Innisfil Hydro to initiate a farm stray voltage investigation using the procedure set out in Appendix H (attached), where a livestock farm customer provides information that reasonably indicates that farm stray voltage may be adversely affecting the operation of the customer’s livestock farm.

What causes Stray Voltage?

Stray voltage can be produced by a variety of on-farm and off-farm sources.

  • On-the-farm sources:
    Unbalanced farm electrical system loading, faulty wiring, improper or poor grounding, defective equipment or voltages from gas pipelines or telephone lines are all possible sources. Innisfil Hydro's neutral system is connected to a farm's grounding system. While this bond protects from shocks caused by faulty electrical equipment and lighting strikes, it may result in a stray voltages on grounded farm equipment such as feeders, watering devices, metal stabling, metal grates, milk pipelines and wet concrete floors.
  • Off-farm sources:
    In a properly functioning electrical system, some voltage exists between the neutral system (ground conductors) and the earth. The level of this voltage can change depending on changes in environmental conditions, electrical loading, and other factors. Common Ways of Reducing Farm Stray Voltage Common ways of reducing tingle voltage would be to reduce grounding resistance of the system grounds and system neutral and by repairing faulty electrical equipment and wiring. An alternative solution, particularly applicable to milking parlours, is the installation of an equi-potential grid. The grid consists of a welded wire mesh, embedded in the concrete of the cow platform in the parlour and in other areas where cows contact bonded stabling or feeding or water devices. The mesh is bonded to the neutral, thereby raising all contact to the potential of the neutral and eliminating exposure to stray voltage. Equi-potential grids are required in new milking parlour construction under the Canadian Electric Code and are included in Canada Plan Service milking parlour plans. The grid offers the added advantage of improving system grounding and eliminating electric shock hazard for livestock on the grid from all sources including lightning.

Stray Voltage Response Procedure

If you think you have a stray voltage problem, call Innisfil Hydro Customer Service at (705) 431-4321 to set up an appointment. It is estimated that Innisfil Hydro requires five business days or less following receipt of a complaint or inquiry to contact the livestock farm customer for scheduling a site visit for the purpose of initiating an investigation.

Information required from the livestock farm customer includes:

  1. Are there any of the following symptoms noticed for dairy cows?
    • Reluctance to enter milking parlour
    • Reduced water or feed intake
    • Lowered milk production
    • Nervous or aggressive behaviour
    • Uneven and incomplete milkout
    • Increased mastitis
    • Reduced growth
  2. Any recent changes to electrical circuits, motors or hardware?
  3. Any recent changes or additions to barn operations?
  4. Any history of past precedence of stray voltage problems?

Office hours are Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Innisfil Hydro’s Dispute Resolution Process is available on page 9 of the Conditions of Service document, CLICK HERE

Why did the electricity industry change?

The provincial government passed Bill 35 in the fall of 1998. It created open and competitive wholesale and retail electricity markets in Ontario for the year 2002. The legislation also completely revamped the structure of the electricity industry.

One requirement of the legislation was that local electricity distribution companies, like Innisfil Hydro, become incorporated under the Ontario Business Corporation Act. On November 1, 2000, Innisfil Hydro Distribution Systems Limited was incorporated. The company operates as a commercial business, with the option of earning profit under the conditions of its license. It is licensed and regulated by the Ontario Energy Board.

As a local distribution, or wires company, we are responsible for maintaining the distribution network (the wires) which delivers electricity to the residents, businesses and industry in Innisfil. The owner and sole shareholder of Innisfil Hydro Distribution Systems Limited is the Town of Innisfil.

Ontario's competitive electricity market opened on May 1, 2002. The fluctuating commody price was quite volatile through the summer and early fall of 2002, but had become more stable by mid-fall. On December 9, 2002, the government passed the Electricity Pricing, Conservation and Supply Act, 2002, that set the commodity price of electricity at 4.3 cents per kilowatt hour for low volume consumers and other designated consumers.

In December 2003, the government introduced the Ontario Energy Board Amendment Act (Electricity Pricing), 2003, which put in place a new interim electricity pricing structure, replacing the 4.3 cent per kilowatt hour (kWh) price cap as of April 1, 2004. Under the interim structure, residential, low-volume and other designated consumers pay 4.7 cents per kWh for the first 750 kWh consumed per month, and 5.5 cents per kWh for consumption above that level. The Act called on the OEB to develop a new electricity pricing mechanism no later than May 1, 2005. On December 9, 2004, the Government of Ontario passed the Electricity Restructuring Act, 2004, (Bill 100) which reorganizes the province’s electricity sector. The new legislation amends the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998, and the Electricity Act, 1998.

The purpose of the Act was “to restructure Ontario’s electricity sector, to promote the expansion of electricity supply and capacity, including supply and capacity from alternative and renewable energy sources, facilitate load management and electricity demand management, encourage electricity conservation and the efficient use of electricity and regulate prices in parts of the electricity sector.”

The Ontario Energy Board was responsible for developing a transparent mechanism for establishing electricity commodity prices for eligible consumers who have not signed contracts with electricity retailers. The Regulated Price Plan, took effect May 1, 2005, was intended to reflect the true cost of electricity, be stable, be supportive of demand-response and conservation, and not be a barrier to investment.

The price plan is offered to eligible consumers with prices adjusted and approved periodically by the OEB. The government established which consumers are eligible for the price plan. Eligible consumers, such as residential consumers, that do not wish to participate in the regulated price plan can purchase their electricity from energy retailers.

The Regulated Price Plan replaced the interim two-tier pricing of 4.7 cents per kilowatt hour (¢/kWh) and 5.5 ¢/kWh hour that was in place from April 2004 to March 2005. During this period, the cost to produce electricity was lower than had been forecast, which resulted in a rebate to customers in December 2005. This one time rebate was called the Ontario Price Credit.

Electricity costs for medium and large businesses reflect a combination of regulated and competitive market prices for electricity. These businesses could also opt to use energy retailers or financial hedging instruments to manage energy costs. These large business and industrial customers who are eligible for the Ontario Power Generation Non-Prescribed Assets (ONPA) rebate which will be in effect until 2009. More information is available on this rebate from the Independent Electricity System Operator at www.ieso.ca.

On March 28, 2006, Bill 2, the Energy Conservation Responsibility Act, 2005 received Royal Assent and established the framework for the installation of smart metering in Ontario homes and small businesses from 2007 to 2010. It also requires ministries, agencies and broader public service organizations to prepare and publish energy conservation strategies, including reporting on energy consumption, proposed conservation measures and progress on achieving results. The regulations that will provide the details of how this legislation will be implemented are in progress.

The Regulated Price Plan (RPP) ensures prices that consumers pay for the electricity they use better reflect the costs paid to electricity generators. The plan represents a stable and predictable approach to electricity pricing and encourages conservation. The prices under the plan relate to the “electricity” line on customer bills.

Since April 2004, most Ontario consumers have paid a two-tiered price for the electricity they use. Consumers on the RPP continue to pay one price for the electricity they consume up to a certain threshold and a higher price for any electricity consumed above that threshold. The prices for the two levels are determined based on an annual OEB forecast of:

  • the cost to supply electricity to consumers over the next year

    PLUS
  • recovery of the costs that were not recovered from RPP consumers during the past year.

The provincial government decided in 2004 that consumers should pay what it costs to supply their electricity and, as the electricity regulator, the OEB is implementing that policy through the Regulated Price Plan. This ends taxpayer subsidy of the cost of electricity and places the responsibility where it more appropriately belongs – with the users of the electricity. Paying artificially low prices that do not reflect the cost of supply gives no incentive for consumers to conserve electricity.

The Regulated Price Plan allows the Board to review prices every six months and those prices may be adjusted up or down depending on what has happened in the previous period and what we expect to happen over the future 12 months. Consumers should not assume that they will automatically go up.


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