Summer is officially here and you know what that means – your electricity bill is about to soar with the temperatures.
Last year, Ontario went through record hydro use and there were even threats of brownouts or blackouts as residents sweltered through the hottest summer on record and turned up the air conditioning for comfort.
While weather experts don’t expect an exact repeat this year, one thing is certain – electricity rates have risen since 2005 and you’ll be paying more for your comfort.
For years, the Ontario government subsidized the loss out of fear of voter backlash and that people simply wouldn’t be able to pay for their power. But they claimed they could no longer afford to do that and raised the rates to what the McGuinty Liberals called a more realistic and fair level.
But it appears they’re not entirely out of the subsidy game just yet. The Grits have passed a bill that will give one time only help to low income earners in the province to get them over the summer hump.
The lower your salary, the bigger the stipend. Individuals making less than $14,000 will get $60 back to help with their hydro bills. Families earning $23,000 or less will be connected to an extra $120 in help. And the scale fluctuates from there.
But if the middle class feels the heat from their hydro bills this summer, their only relief will be to turn down the A.C. Single people earning $20,000 or more and families who pull in $35,000 and up won’t get a dime out of the new plan, which will cost the government $100 million.
To qualify, you must have filed your 2005 income tax by December 31, 2006.
Ontario Electricity Relief
Net Income Relief Family Net Income Relief
Up to $14,000 $60 Up to $23,000 $120
$15,000 $50 $25,000 $100
$16,000 $40 $27,000 $80
$17,000 $30 $29,000 $60
$18,000 $20 $31,000 $40
$19,000 $10 $33,000 $20
$20,000 and up $0 $35,000 and up $0