安省电价在近年来呈现两位数增长，但是用户可以通过避开高峰期大量用电而降低电费开支。以下是Bob Mok 探讨分析安省电力系统高昂成本之系列文章的第二篇。读者如欲参照前文，请点击http://096.ca/news/652819。
Hydro bill has been increasing by double digits in recent years. But you can reduce hdyro costs by shifting heavy electricity usage to off-peak hours. Read Bob Mok’s second article in his series examing the high costs of Ontario hydro system. For his first article, check out http://096.ca/news/652819
当安省保守党政府在1998年通过Bill 35拆分原有的Ontario Hydro机构时，其初衷是出于良好意愿并是合乎逻辑的。
When The Ontario Progressive Conservative Government broke up the old Ontario Hydro Organization with Bill 35 in 1998, its intentions were good and logical.
Bill 35 also created the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) as the regulator of the New Market. OEB has the responsibility to regulate the prices in the non-competitive sections of the market (transmission & distribution) and oversee the wholesale and retail markets to protect the public from noncompetitive practices.
In 1999, the OEFC had to deal with the $38.1 billion of debt. While $30.3 billion were passed onto the other created entities and municipalities, $7.1 billion were conveyed to the electricity consumers and a special charge of 0.7 cents per Kwh were added to their bills.
In order to understand the cost of electrical consumptions, we must take a look at the Kilo-watt hour (Kwh) – a unit of measurement used to determine electricity charges. One Kwh is a measure of electrical energy equivalent to a power consumption of 1,000 watts for 1 hour. It is a function of consumption rating multiplying to the time used.
Typical heavy users of electricity in a house will be clothes dryers, central air conditioner, and oven. A load of clothes dried over 20 minutes will roughly consume one Kwh and so would an oven turned on for 20 minutes. No one will keep a Microwave or toaster running continuously for one hour but if they do, these will also consume one Kwh each. Use any one of them for 6 minutes only and that will be one-tenth of one Kwh.
Electricity cannot be stored economically once it is generated. At the same time, we cannot turn off the power generation plants at night when consumptions are minimal. The power generation continues at night at an adjusted (lower) off-peak level to be sold at a discounted rate.
If you have a smart-meter installed, then you can get different electricity (generation) rates out of 3 categories – off-peak, mid-peak and on-peak. These peak periods change in summer and winter. The wise consumers will arrange their home tasks to save on their electricity bills. On a year-round basis, for weekdays between 7pm and 7am, the off-peak rates are 8.7 cents per Kwh. This lowest rate also applies to weekend and holidays 24 hours a day.
During the summer months (May to Oct), the on-peak or highest rate is charged between 11am and 5pm at 18 cents per Kwh (more than twice that of the off-peak rates). The mid-peak times are between 7am and 11am, and also between 5pm and 7pm at 13.2 cents per Kwh.
During the winter months (Nov to April), the summer time on-peak hours are changed to mid-peak hours and the mid-peak hours are changed to on-peak hours. This is necessary to allow for the shift in electricity use patterns. The off-peak periods are not changed through-out the year.
For Ontarians, the best solution to take advantage of the lower rates is to adjust cooking hours and laundry routines in a household to after 7pm in the evening if those can be arranged. These activities are consuming large amount of electricity based on their appliance ratings.
To put this into proper perspective, we paid 9.7 cents per Kwh during on-peak hours in 2006 (10 years ago), and 9.9 cents in 2010 (6 years ago). Today, we are paying 18 cents or 82% more than what we paid in 2010. This power generation charge is only one component in our electricity bill. We still have not accounted for the Delivery Charge, regulatory charge, and debt retirement charges!
We will look at “Delivery Charge”, the various power generation methods and their costs next time.
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