FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the answers to our most commonly asked questions. You will find Choose your rate option FAQ's and COVID-19 FAQ's organized into their respective sections below.

Choose Your Rate Option FAQ's

What’s the difference between Time-of-Use and Tiered prices?

Time-of-Use pricing reflects the cost of producing electricity at different times of day based on demand. It has three periods: on-peak, when energy demand and cost is high, mid-peak, when energy demand and cost is moderate, and off-peak, when energy demand and cost is low.

Time-of-Use pricing ultimately gives you more control over your electricity bill. By adjusting your usage habits, Time-of-Use pricing enables you to save money during hours when electricity is more expensive.

Tiered pricing is one price for usage based on a threshold amount and a higher price for usage over that threshold.

  • The threshold for residential consumers changes twice a year on a seasonal basis; to 600 kilowatt-hours per month during the summer season (May 1 to October 31) and to 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month during the winter season (November 1 to April 30).
  • The threshold for non-residential consumers is 750 kilowatt-hours per month.

Time-of-Use and Tiered prices are set by the Ontario Energy Board twice a year on May 1 and November 1.

When do I have to tell Alectra I want to switch rate plans? Is there a deadline?
  • You can let us know any time. After you submit a request, we will make every effort to apply your selection to your next electricity statement. If the current month's bill is already in process it will be applied on the following bill.
  • More than one Rate Option Selection cannot be processed in one monthly billing cycle
What if I change my mind? Am I locked into a price plan?

No, you’re not locked into a price plan. You can switch between Time-of-Use and Tiered pricing at any time however more than one Rate Option Selection cannot be processed in one monthly billing cycle.

I have a Retail Energy Contract. Can I switch my rate option?

No, if you have signed a contract with an energy retailer for your electricity supply, you have agreed to purchase electricity at a fixed price for a set period of time. When your contract ends and if you return to the Regulated Price Plan you will have the option to switch your rate.

I’m a new customer. How do I choose a rate option?

If you are a new customer, your default rate plan will be Time-of-Use unless you select Tiered Pricing when you tell us you’re moving. Use our online form to let us know you’re moving and your Rate Option selection

Alectra response to COVID-19

Is there help for residential customers? My account was in good standing when the state of emergency was declared but I’m struggling to pay my bill now.

If you’re having difficulty paying your bill due to COVID-19 you may be eligible for a credit against your electricity arrears. You are eligible for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) if you meet all of the following criteria (updated October 20, 2020):

  1. As of the date you are applying, you have overdue amounts owing from at least two electricity bills since March 17, 2020.
  2. You have not received Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) or Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) grants in 2020.
  3. The account holder (the person whose name is on the bill) or the account holder’s spouse or common-law partner (who must share the same address with the account holder) qualified for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or received Employment Insurance (EI) at any point after March 17, 2020.

You may be eligible for an enhanced credit if:

  • Your household’s main heating source is electricity, or
  • You use one of the following at-home energy-intensive medical devices: Kidney Dialysis Machine, Mechanical Ventilators, Oxygen Concentrator.

Apply for CEAP

Is there help for small business customers or registered charities?

Ontario has announced the COVID-19 Business Support Grants program to help businesses that were required to shut down or restrict services due to provincial public health measures (modified Stage 2 restrictions or in areas categorized as control or lockdown). The rebate will fully offset energy costs for electricity costs for eligible businesses.

Starting November 16, 2020, businesses can apply for rebates online. If customers are interested in applying, they can visit: www.ontario.ca/page/businesses-get-help-covid-19-costs or call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659

CEAP-SB: If you are a small business or charity customers having difficulty paying your bill due to COVID-19 you may be eligible for a credit against your electricity arrears.

You are eligible for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB) if you meet all of the following criteria

  1. As of the date you are applying, your small business or registered charity has an active account with an electricity distributor or a unit sub-meter provider. You will be required to provide your registered business number or registered charity number.
  2. Your small business or registered charity is using less than 150,000 kWh of electricity annually if the account is with a unit sub-meter provider.
  3. Your small business or registered charity is classified as a general service < 50 kW customer if the account is with an electricity distributor.
  4. Your small business or registered charity did not have any overdue amounts on its electricity bill on March 17, 2020, the date of the Provincial Declaration of Emergency.
  5. As of the date you are applying, your small business or registered charity has any overdue amounts owing from at least two electricity bills since March 17, 2020.
  6. Your small business or registered charity was required to close* its premises to members of the public for regular operations for at least fifteen days as a result of a government order or an inability to adapt your business or charity to comply with public health recommendations.

Apply for CEAP-SB

 

Will Alectra waive my late payment charge?

Alectra had previously waived all late payment charges for past due accounts to ease pressure on residential and business customers, while offering multiple support programs for those experiencing financial hardships. Those support programs remain in place to assist customers who are experiencing difficulties.

While Alectra has suspended disconnections for residential customers, the utility will once again apply a late payment charge effective September 1, 2020* for past due electricity and water* accounts. Late Payment Charges are not retroactive and apply only to amounts owing as of September 1, 2020* and beyond

*This applies to water and wastewater charges for customers in Hamilton, Markham and Vaughan. For Alectra Utilities (formerly Guelph Hydro) customers, late payment charges on water accounts resumed on August 1, 2020.

Will I get disconnected? I have no source of income.

Alectra has suspended disconnections for residential customers, however we ask that if you are in arrears you contact us at 1-833-ALECTRA to make payment arrangements. We will work with customers to provide flexible payment arrangements and we encourage residential customers experiencing payment difficulties to also seek support through the COVID-19 Energy Support Program, the Low Income Energy Assistance Program and the Ontario Electricity Support Program.

Will this issue affect my hydro service?

No, you will not experience a change in your service. We prepare year-round for the unexpected and have initiated detailed pandemic plans to ensure the health, safety and physical well-being of our customers and employees. 

Can I use my security deposit to pay my bill?

We do not collect security deposits on residential accounts.

For small businesses, Alectra is refunding security deposits for qualified customers who have achieved 3-years of good payment history. Contact us at 1-833-ALECTRA to discuss your security deposit.

Does Alectra have any programs to help me?

We understand that sometimes it is hard to make ends meet. Alectra and the Ontario Energy Board offer a variety of programs to help customers pay their electricity bills.

In addition to COVID-19 Energy Assistance Programs for residential and small business customers, Alectra has a range of programs and payment options including:

Are you closing any of your locations?

To help prevent the spread of the virus, we are no longer accepting visitors at our service and office locations, and most non-essential employees continue to work remotely.

What support is available for larger customers?

Update to Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI)

The government recently amended its regulation to allow for Class A customers to maintain the same Peak Demand Factor (PDF) for the 2020-2021 base period that they had in the 2019-2020 base period.

This will allow companies to focus on core business without worrying about their electricity usage during peak hours. For more information please refer to the IESO's website.

What measures has Alectra taken to protect employees and the public?
  • Alectra’s Emergency Operations Centre remains active, and we are working closely with the province and municipal partners.
  • Alectra is maintaining call centre services to handle customer moving and payment inquiries, as well as full emergency power restoration capabilities to respond to storms and other events.
  • We are following the direction of health authorities to ensure that our practices are aligned with the latest recommendations and we have put protocols in place to minimize the risk for our employees and the public.
What is Alectra doing to help its communities’ health care professionals?

On April 7th, Alectra provided 16,800 N95 particulate respirator masks to hospitals across its service territory to help address shortages resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. N95 masks were distributed to:

  • Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (Barrie) 
  • Guelph General Hospital (Guelph) 
  • Hamilton Health Sciences (Hamilton) 
  • Markham-Stouffville-Hospital (Markham) 
  • Trillium Health Partners (Mississauga) 
  • Greater Niagara General Hospital (St. Catharines) 
  • Mackenzie Health (Vaughan)