Alberta’s weighted average Power Pool price for October is currently $50.67/MWh. Compared to last week’s price of $44.17/MWh, this is an increase of 14.7% or $6.5/MWh. Demand in the province continues to reach new daily highs as temperatures fall. The new hourly peak occurred on October 21st at 6pm MST, when it reached 10,265MW. In fact, the province hit daily highs of over 10,000MW for 4 consecutive days – a level not seen since the start of shutdowns earlier this year. As a result, average hourly demand is settling at 9,181MW, increasing by 222MW or 2.4%. Price volatility continued this past week, due to colder temperatures and outages at the interties; each day this week had at least one hourly period in which the Power Pool price settled over $100/MWh. With the outages at the interties planned until October 30th, we can expect volatility to continue until the end of the month.

The weighted average Hourly Ontario Energy Price (HOEP) is currently at 1¢/kWh, a slight week-over-week uptick of 0.1¢/kWh or 11%. This increase in price is attributed to the rise in demand, driven by a decrease in the provincial daily average temperature to below 8oC this past week. With buildings turning their heat on, demand and supply have increased 6% (13,605MW) and 4% (15,284MW), respectively. The quick rise in demand was primarily met by expensive, dispatchable natural gas (+27%, 729MW). Hydro and biofuel also increased their supply (+11%, 3,776MW; +41%, 42MW), while nuclear’s baseload remained relatively unchanged (9,324MW). Wind and solar decreased their supply (-9%, 1,342MW; -49%, 70MW). Currently, with the first Global Adjustment estimated at 14.9¢/kWh, October’s total market price is 15.9¢/kWh.

As a reminder, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) launched their online bill calculator to help small businesses who have a smart meter and pay Time of Use (TOU) rates 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 will come into effect November 1st, 2020. TOU rates are set at 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.

Lastly, most households, farms, small businesses, long-term care homes, and some multi-unit complexes are eligible for the Ontario Electricity Rebate (OER). Customers are eligible for the OER if they’re on a Regulated Price Plan (RPP) and have demand of less than 50kW or consume less than 250,000kWh annually. The OER is automatically applied to eligible customers’ bills and, starting November 1st, 2020, the rebate will increase to 33.2%. Customers who were grandfathered to the OER will continue to receive the rebate until April 30th, 2021. Customers of certain electricity utilities may also receive further rebates. For further information about rebate eligibility criteria, customers are encouraged to contact their electricity distribution company or the Ontario Energy Board (OEB).

– Mark Ljuckanov, Energy Data Analyst /  Ryan Cosgrove, Energy Data Analyst

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