Alberta’s weighted average Power Pool price for October is currently $44.17/MWh. Compared to last week’s price of $33.65/MWh, this is an increase of 31.2% or $10.51/MWh. The province reached an hourly peak demand of 9,866MW on the 14th, the highest we have experienced this month. Similarly, average hourly demand in the province reached 8,960MW, compared to last week’s average of 8,909MW, representing a net increase of 5.7%. Prices spiked to a high of $704.75/MWh at 12pm MST on October 13th, with the average price between 10am to 2pm MST settling at $464.37/MWh. Furthermore, on the 14th, prices spiked to a high of $393.97/MWh, with an average price of $201.67/MWh between 9am to 6pm MST. Coinciding with the pricing spikes were outages at the intertie from British Columbia and Montana which import electricity into the province. As the outages are ongoing, we expect pricing volatility to continue.

The weighted average Hourly Ontario Energy Price (HOEP) is currently at 0.9¢/kWh for the month of October, unchanged from last week’s close. Week-over-week, supply has remained relatively flat (15,172MW), while demand decreased by 3% to 13,403MW. This drop in demand is primarily attributed to Toronto, Peel, and Ottawa returning to a modified Stage 2 of economic recovery, as the provincial average daily temperature increased slightly relative to last week, which should otherwise have kept demand levels up. While gas and hydro decreased their supply 44% and 7% to 753MW and 3,688MW, respectively, other sources to the grid increased their supply: nuclear (+3%, 9,280MW), wind (+30%, 1,332MW), solar (+17%, 82MW), and biofuel (+9%, 36MW). We forecast HOEP to continue to fluctuate around the 1¢/kWh mark for much of the fall shoulder season, with price fluctuations to be driven by changes in temperature, economic activity, or the Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI) program. Currently, with the first Global Adjustment estimated at 14.9¢/kWh, October’s total market price is 15.8¢/kWh.

In other electricity news, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) launched their online bill calculator for regulated consumers. Small business customers who pay Time of Use (TOU) rates, and who have a smart meter, can use this calculator to decide whether to switch to Tiered prices. Customers can switch pricing plans starting November 1st, 2020 and, to do so, must submit an election form to their utility provider, allowing 10 business days for processing. Distributors are also able to use and adapt this bill calculator for their websites.

Additionally, new TOU and Tiered rates have been set and will come into effect November 1st, 2020. TOU rates are 10.5¢/kWh, 15.0¢/kWh, and 21.7¢/kWh for off-peak, mid-peak, and on-peak, respectively. Tiered rates are 12.6¢/kWh for consumption up to the non-residential threshold of 750kWh, and 14.6¢/kWh for consumption above this threshold.

– Grace Wilton, Energy Services Analyst

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