Customer Choice

Electricity Rate Selection

If you’re a residential or small business customer, you can choose to switch between Time-of-Use (TOU) and Tiered electricity prices. If you recently switched price plans but want to switch back, you can do that too.

To switch between price plans, you must notify Greater Sudbury Hydro’s Customer Service department by completing an election form, available online using our online Rate Plan Change form or by contacting us directly at customerservice@gsuinc.ca or 705-675-7536, Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:00pm.

You may want to continue with your current price plan. In that case, no action is required.

About TOU Prices

With TOU prices, the price depends on when you use electricity. You can help manage your electricity costs by shifting your usage to lower price periods when possible.

There are three TOU periods:

  • Off-peak: When demand for electricity is lowest. Ontario households use most of their electricity – nearly two thirds of it – during off-peak hours.
  • Mid-peak: When demand for electricity is moderate. These periods are during the daytime, but not the busiest times of day.
  • On-peak: When demand for electricity is generally higher. These are the busier times of day – generally when people are cooking, starting up their computers and running heating or air conditioners.

People use electricity differently depending on the season, so the TOU price periods are different in the winter than they are in the summer.

About Tiered Prices

With Tiered prices, you can use a certain amount of electricity each month at a lower price. Once that limit (called a threshold) is exceeded, a higher price applies. For residential customers, the threshold normally changes with the season to reflect changing usage patterns – for example, there are fewer hours of daylight in the winter, meaning our lights are on longer, and some customers use electric heating.

In the winter period (November 1 – April 30), the Tier threshold for residential customers is 1,000 kWh so that households can use more power at the lower price. In the summer period (May 1 – October 31), the Tier threshold for residential customers is 600 kWh.

For small business customers, the Tier threshold is 750 kWh all year round.

Tiered prices give you the flexibility to use electricity at any time of day at the same price, although that price will increase if you exceed the threshold during the month.

View Current TOU and Tiered Electricity Rates

Considering a Switch?

Considering a Switch?

Are you thinking about switching your electricity price plan? Here are a few things to consider. Make sure you have some of your recent electricity bills handy as you go through the information below. Keep in mind the effect of COVID-19 on your electricity use (for instance, you may be working from home when you normally wouldn’t be). Most of the information you will need is on the Electricity line of your bill. Customer Service staff cannot advise on which option to choose.

  • Your price plan

Do you pay TOU or Tiered prices for your electricity? If you’re unsure, take a look at the Electricity line of your bill. Most residential and small business customers in Ontario pay TOU prices.

  • Your usage

How much electricity do you use in a month? If you’re unsure, take a look at the Electricity line on your bill. You might also want to look at the historical usage graph on your bill, which shows your average daily usage over the past 12-month period.

  • Your consumption pattern

When you use electricity can be another factor in your choice. Historically, the typical residential customer who paid TOU prices has used nearly two thirds of their power at off-peak times – the time when the lowest TOU price applies. The other third of their power used was typically split equally between on- and mid-peak times. Look at the Electricity line of your bill to see how much power you use in each of the three TOU price periods. To view your consumption usage on MyAccount, sign in, or register here.

  • Seasonal changes and time of year

The TOU price periods and Tier thresholds change with the season and are different during the winter (November 1 – April 30) and summer (May 1 – October 31) periods. Does the amount of electricity you use change based on the season?

If you’re thinking about switching, you should pay close attention to how much electricity you use in a month, because on Tiered pricing the price is higher for every kWh of electricity that you use above the Tier threshold of 1,000 kWh in the winter or 600 kWh in the summer. For instance, if you heat your home electrically, your monthly use in the winter may be higher. And the same goes for the summer if you need to run your air conditioner. 

With TOU prices, the price depends on when you use electricity. Although the TOU price periods also change with the season, the electricity you use after 7 p.m. every day, and all the time on weekends and holidays, is charged at the lowest price under TOU all year round.

  • Lifestyle and daily habits

Are you often home during the day on weekdays, so that shifting your usage is more challenging? Do you have large appliances that you need to run during the day on weekdays? Can you shift more of that usage to nighttime or weekend hours? 

  • Small business

If you’re a small business owner, some of the same factors mentioned earlier also apply – how much electricity do you use each month, and when do you use it? Keep in mind that the Tier threshold for small business customers is 750 kWh all year round. And not all small businesses are the same. A restaurant with several ovens running in the evening may have a very different electricity usage pattern than a small salon that’s only open during the day. So may a dry cleaner compared to a convenience store, or a clothing store compared to a bakery.

To decide which option is best for you, take advantage of the calculator tool developed by the Ontario Energy Board below.

Calculator

Make your choice! Click the link below to access our online tool to review and select your preferred electricity rate option.

Make Your Electricity Rate Selection

Choosing an Electricity Plan That’s Right for You

Rules for Customer Choice

If you don’t want to switch your price plan, you don’t need to do anything. You will stay on your current price plan. If you recently switched price plans but want to switch back, you can do that too.

If you do want to switch price plans, here are the rules that apply:

  • You’ll need to fill out our online form to notify Greater Sudbury Hydro that you want to switch.
  • Greater Sudbury Hydro must make its election form available on its website, and to any customer that requests it. Greater Sudbury Hydro must accept election forms by email or mail at a minimum. Greater Sudbury Hydro also allows requests to be made by contacting us directly by email at customerservice@gsuinc.ca or by phone at 705-675-7536, Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:00pm.
  • You should have a recent electricity bill on hand when filling out the form, as you will need your utility account number. For help to find the account number and other parts of the electricity bill, see sample TOU and Tiered bills on the Ontario Energy Board’s website at oeb.ca/choice.
  • Within 10 business days of receiving your election form, Greater Sudbury Hydro must tell you if your election form can’t be processed and must explain why (for instance, if you’re not authorized to make changes to the account, or the account can’t be verified). 
  • If there are no issues with your election form, Greater Sudbury Hydro has the same 10 business days to let you know when you can expect to start being billed on Tiered prices.
  • A switch between price plans can only take effect at the start of a billing period. You are generally billed for a 30-day period, and the start and end dates are identified on your electricity bill.
  • Greater Sudbury Hydro must start charging you under your requested price plan as of your next billing period after you submit your election form if it receives that form at least 10 business days before that billing period starts, and provided there are no issues with your form (see above).
  • If Greater Sudbury Hydro receives your election form less than 10 business days before the start of your next billing period, it might still be able to switch you for your next billing period. But if it can’t do so, it has to start charging you under your requested price plan at the start of the next billing period after that.
  • Greater Sudbury Hydro is required to inform all new residential and small business customers that they have a choice between TOU or Tiered prices when they set up the account.
  • The choice between TOU and Tiered prices is available to nearly all residential and small business customers that have smart meters and are billed under the OEB’s RPP. Some residential and small business customers are charged Tiered prices because their meters can’t be used to bill TOU prices. They can’t switch to TOU prices at this time.
  • If you live in a condominium or apartment that has its own individual meter and your bill comes from a company other than Greater Sudbury Hydro, you are a customer of a unit sub-meter provider (USMP). Customers of USMPs also can’t switch to Tiered prices. That decision can only be made for the building as a whole by the “master consumer,” who is the person that retained a USMP for the property. In most cases, the master consumer is the property manager, landlord or condominium board.
  • Customers buying their electricity from an energy retailer pay the electricity price set out in their contract. Once they have left their retail contract, they will have a choice between paying TOU or Tiered prices. For details about your energy contract, contact your energy retailer.

For more information about TOU and Tiered pricing, visit our Current Electricity Rates page or oeb.ca/choice.

  • For customers that have signed up for a contract with an energy retailer, the price is set out in the contract. The Ontario Energy Board does not regulate this. Read more about contracts.
  • The choice between TOU and Tiered prices is available to nearly all residential and small business customers that have smart meters and are billed on TOU. Some residential and small business customers are charged Tiered prices because their meters can’t be used to bill TOU prices. They can’t switch to TOU prices at this time.
  • If you live in a condominium or apartment that has its own individual meter and your bill comes from a company other than Greater Sudbury Hydro, you are a customer of a unit sub-meter provider (USMP). Customers of USMPs also can’t switch to Tiered prices. That decision can only be made for the building as a whole by the “master consumer,” who is the person that retained a USMP for the property. In most cases, the master consumer is the property manager, landlord or condominium board.
  • Customers that are buying their electricity from an energy retailer pay the electricity price set out in their contract. Once they have left their retail contract, they will have a choice between paying TOU or Tiered prices. For details about your energy contract, contact your energy retailer. More information about energy retailers. 

For more information about TOU and Tiered pricing, visit oeb.ca/choice.


Where a Dollar Went in 2020

This illustration shows how each dollar paid on a Greater Sudbury Hydro bill in 2020 was distributed. Note that only 14.9 cents of each dollar stayed in Sudbury. The rest was passed through to other agencies.

65%

ELECTRICITY AND GLOBAL ADJUSTMENT
PAID TO IESO, Hydro One & Electricity Generators

14.9%

GSH DISTRIBUTION
GSH retains only 14.9%. Other agencies absorb the remaining 85.1%.

11.5%

HST LESS PROVINCIAL REBATE
Paid to Provincial and Federal governments.

6.3%

TRANSMISSION CHARGES
Paid to Hydro One

2.3%

REGULATORY CHARGES AND DEBT RETIREMENT
Paid to IESO and Ontario Electricity Finance Corporation.

Greater Sudbury Hydro controls only the “distribution rate”, which is part of the “delivery charge” line of your bill. The rest of the charges are collected by GSH on behalf of other agencies, but they flow through and do not remain with Greater Sudbury Hydro.

Our goal is to provide the service levels expected by our customers at the lowest possible cost. We work hard to reach this goal. Although the industry has become increasingly more complex, our employees continue their efforts and dedicate themselves to the challenge of adapting to customer needs. As we take on new challenges, we are committed to meeting those challenges with a well-trained and motivated staff that hold our customers as the focal point of all of their efforts.