Woman charging a black EV car at a downtown charging station at night
Alectra Utilities and Hydro One are now offering customers the opportunity to enroll in the Ontario Energy Board’s ultra-low overnight (ULO) electricity pricing plan ahead of the November 1st deadline imposed by the energy regulator.

Alectra and Hydro One now offer ultra-low overnight pricing, as the deadline for all utilities in Ontario to adopt this billing option nears

Alectra Utilities and Hydro One are now offering customers the opportunity to enroll in the Ontario Energy Board’s ultra-low overnight (ULO) electricity pricing plan ahead of the November 1st deadline imposed by the energy regulator.

The ULO pricing plan is structured based on the day and time when electricity is consumed. It offers a particularly low rate during the overnight hours, which makes it an attractive billing option for EV drivers.

“The great thing about this rate option is that it rewards customers who are electric vehicle (EV) users who can charge at home overnight and others who can shift their general electricity use to overnight periods,” says Brian Bentz, president and CEO of Alectra, in a press statement.

“It also helps our distribution system by reducing strain on the grid at peak times.”

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) introduced the new ULO pricing scheme in May. It’s part of the OEB’s strategy to incentivize overnight EV charging while lowering utility bills.

Rate structure

Under the ULO price plan, the cost of electricity varies depending on the time of day customers use it. The plan consists of four price periods.

The current rates, set by the Ontario Energy Board, are:

  • Ultra-low overnight rate of 2.4 cents per kWh: everyday 11 p.m.-7 a.m.
  • Mid-peak rates of 10.2 cents per kWh: weekdays 7 a.m.-4 p.m. and 9 p.m.-11 p.m.
  • On-peak rates of 24.0 cents per kWh: weekdays 4 p.m.-9 p.m.
  • Weekend off-peak rates of 7.4 cents per kWh: weekends and statutory holidays 7 a.m.-11 p.m.

The ULO price periods are the same year-round.

The ULO rate structure is optional for utility consumers. It provides a third energy billing option for Ontarians to choose from, in addition to the current time-of-use and tiered pricing schemes.

Other utilities following suit

When the Ontario government introduced its overnight pricing, six utilities (Toronto Hydro, London Hydro, Centre Wellington Hydro, Hearst Power, Renfrew Hydro, Wasaga Distribution and Sioux Lookout Hydro) began offering the option to their customers.

The OEB mandated that all utilities must offer ULO pricing within six months, or, by November 2023.

Ontario has a total of 63 utility providers. The five largest are Hydro One, Alectra Utilities, Elexicon Energy, Hydro Ottawa and Toronto Hydro.

Along with Alectra, Hydro One also announced in September that it is beginning to offer ULO rates.

“As their trusted energy advisor, we want our customers to know we have the insights and tools to help them make the right choice when it comes to their electricity plans,” said Teri French, executive vice president, safety, operations and customer experience, Hydro One.

“We know that choice and flexibility are important to our customers, and we are proud to now offer them a third option so they can select the plan that best fits their lifestyle.

Hydro One provides an online calculator to help its customers choose which pricing plan best suits their lifestyle.

Elexicon Energy and Hydro Ottawa will also introduce the ultra-low overnight plan to their customers by November 1, confirmed spokespeople for each company in email statements to Electric Autonomy.

Hydro Ottawa wasn’t among the first batch of utility providers to offer the pricing plan because it needed to set up its systems for testing and implementing the new rate plan, says the utility on its site.