Ontario to offer hydro discounts for low-income residents

Many Ontario residents will see an increase in their hydro bills starting January 2016 as the government cuts costs for low-income residents.

An estimated $30 will be discounted from the hydro bills of roughly 500,000 Ontario residents who earn less than $50,000 per year.

For these families, hydro can account for up to ten per cent of monthly expenditures, says Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli. He adds that consumers should not have to live in the dark in order to put food on the table.

For example, a family making an annual salary of $28,000 will save about $38 per month on their hydro bill, or $456 annually.

To make up for this discount, other households across the province will pay approximately 70 cents more per month, depending on how many sign up for the new rebate program.

Monthly hydro bills currently average about $150.

Hydro bills will also increase due to the upcoming end of the Ontario Clean Energy Rebate and the Ontario Debt Retirement Charge, both of which expire at the end of 2015. The Ontario government says it is looking for new ways to reward residents who are conserving energy.

Taking all programs into account, Chiarelli suspects that average Ontario hydro bills will increase by only about $10.

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