PowerStream customers to have uniform distribution rates
following OEB approval of harmonization application
In a recent decision and order issued by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB), an application by PowerStream to harmonize base electricity distribution rates for customers across its service territory has been approved. The OEB’s decision indicated that the new harmonized rates are to go into effect November 1, 2007.
The OEB approval of the application ensures that electricity distribution charges for PowerStream customers after October 31, 2007 will be assessed at the same rate regardless of the municipality in which they reside or are located.
Following the merger of three local utilities in 2004 which created PowerStream and the acquisition of a fourth in 2005, customers in the four municipalities served by the company have been paying different distribution rates which were primarily based on the operational structure of their respective previous utility.
As a result of rate harmonization, a typical residential consumer using 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per month at current energy rates will see changes to their total bill ranging from decreases of 8.2% and 2.1% respectively in Aurora and Richmond Hill to increases of 1.7% and 2.5% respectively in Markham and Vaughan. Small commercial customers will see decreases of 5.9% (Aurora), 2.9% (Richmond Hill), 2.2% (Vaughan) and an increase of 2.5% (Markham). For large commercial customers there will be decreases of 2.9% (Aurora), 2.6% (Richmond Hill), 1.4% (Vaughan) and an increase of 3.2% (Markham).
“Achieving a harmonized distribution rate structure has been an important objective for us,” Brian Bentz, PowerStream’s President and Chief Executive Officer said pointing out that there has been a significant overall reduction in electricity distribution rates for all PowerStream customers since 2004, including those customers who will be seeing marginal increases as a result of harmonization. “We are now one company serving customers in one service territory. It only makes sense for us to have a set of consistent distribution rates.”
PowerStream Inc. is one of the largest local electricity distribution companies in Ontario, providing service to more than 230,000 residential and business customers in the municipalities of Aurora, Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan. It is an incorporated entity, jointly owned by the City of Vaughan and the Town of Markham.
About the Ontario Energy Board
The Ontario Energy Board regulates the province’s electricity and natural gas sectors in the public interest. It envisions a viable and efficient energy sector with informed consumers served by responsive regulatory processes that are effective, fair and transparent.