Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited

Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited
Toronto Hydro Corporation

Toronto Hydro Corporation

October 25, 2007 08:00 ET

Ask the Right Questions Before Buying Electricity From a Retailer-Customers Should Understand Their Choices, Advises Toronto Hydro-Electric System

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 25, 2007) - Saving money is at the top of almost everyone's "To Do" list. One way to save is by reducing monthly expenses, such as the household electricity bill. Toronto Hydro-Electric System ("Toronto Hydro") wants homeowners to understand their choices when it comes to buying electricity.

Choosing to buy electricity from an energy retailer is one option that is being presented to consumers by a number of companies not affiliated with Toronto Hydro. Some people prefer this option. Regardless, the right questions should be asked when an electricity retailer comes calling.

Electricity retailers purchase large "blocks" of wholesale electricity from power generating companies, and then sell it to consumers. The customer pays the retailer a "fixed-price per kilowatt-hour", as mutually agreed upon in a contract offered by the retailer. The price offered is typically guaranteed for a specified number of years, although in some cases the price could change during the contract period.

To make sure that people understand a new agreement, Toronto Hydro recommends that they do the following before signing a contract to purchase electricity from companies (other than Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited):

- Ensure the retailer is licensed by the Ontario Energy Board to sell electricity. This can be verified on the OEB website at http://www.oeb.gov.on.ca/

- Read the contract offer carefully so you are aware of all terms and conditions.

- Find out what price the retailer is charging for electricity (the current regulated electricity fixed rate is 5.3 cents/kWh for the first 600 kWh used for 30 days and 6.2 cents/kWh hour for the remaining kWh used for 30 days). Ask if there are any additional charges.

- Discuss the contract termination process and any charges you might be responsible for, as well as the terms for contract renewal.

- Ask questions if anything is unclear.

- Shop around and compare the prices of other retailers, as well as the regulated price that Toronto Hydro charges.

When the government implements Time of Use (TOU) rates, consumers will be able to gain more control over their monthly electricity bills by shifting their consumption to lower cost, "off peak" time periods (mornings, evenings, holidays and weekends). If they so choose, they will benefit from TOU rates by shifting as much of their electricity use as possible to "off peak" time periods.

Fixed-price contracts offered by retailers remove the time-of-use rate option by setting a fixed electricity rate, regardless of the time of day. Time of use rates, in and of themselves; do not mean that customers should quickly sign fixed-price contracts with electricity retailers because they are worried about high rates during peak periods. All of the facts and options should be understood before "locking-in" to a fixed rate offered by a retailer.

Toronto Hydro wants to make sure customers are aware of the following:

- Toronto Hydro does not send electricity sales representative door-to-door; and

- Toronto Hydro is not affiliated with any electricity retailers.

If a Toronto homeowner does sign with an electricity retailer, in most cases he or she will continue to receive a hydro bill from Toronto Hydro. The only change that may be is that the 'electricity' line on the bill will be charged at the rate agreed to between the customer and the retailer. Toronto Hydro will continue to deliver electricity to every customer, and separate regulated charges will also be included on the bill, in addition to the retailer's electricity charge.

Visit http://www.torontohydro.com for more information on electricity retailers. For more information about the Ontario Energy Board and a list of licensed electricity retailers, customers are encouraged to visit http://www.oeb.gov.on.ca/.

About Toronto Hydro-Electric System

A wholly owned subsidiary of Toronto Hydro Corporation, Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited delivers electricity through a complex network of poles, wires and underground structures to 678,000 customers and distributes approximately 18 per cent of the electricity in the province of Ontario. Toronto Hydro Corporation is owned 100 per cent by the City of Toronto.

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