TORONTO — Hydro bills in Ontario are set to drop July 1 as the remainder of cuts promised by the Liberal government come into effect.
Some of the cuts came into effect May 1, but as of next month bills will be 25 per cent lower than last year, on average, including an eight per cent cut that took effect in January.
The Ontario Energy Board says that will lower the average monthly bill by about $41 to about $121.
The cuts will be reflected in lower time-of-use rates, which the government is achieving by taking $2.5 billion a year off the global adjustment charge — to be paid back down the road with interest.
The financial accountability officer has projected that Ontarians will be paying a net $21 billion over the next three decades to get short-term savings under the plan.
The budget watchdog found that the government will spend $45 billion over the life of its hydro plan to save people $24 billion on their bills over the next approximately 30 years.
Electricity bills in the province have roughly doubled in the last decade, due in part to Liberal government's green energy initiatives.
Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault has said rising bills reflected the costs of building a more reliable system.
"We did have to put some serious investments into the system to make sure that we could rebuild it," he said Thursday. "I know no one's going to have a ticker-tape parade for me going down the main street of any community in this province because we've lowered our bills."
After this year, increases to rates will be held to inflation for the next four years. A Hydro One rate increase application, which the energy board is holding public consultations on this summer, has caused concern and Opposition outrage.
Thibeault said the government's long-term energy plan is looking at more ways to take costs out of the system. It was originally due out in the spring, but Thibeault said the goal is now to unveil it in September.