Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government has promised to remove the provincial portion of the HST on all hydro bills, an announcement made during Monday’s throne speech.
The 8% rebate (Ontario’s piece of the 13% HST pie) would kick in beginning January 1 2017. The average household would save $130 a year.
The Liberals also promised to assist rural residents, who have been hit hard by increasing electricity costs. Rebates of about 20% will be offered, which roughly translates to $540 a year.
Businesses will be provided assistance to shift their power use to off-peak times.
Some critics argue that this will do little to curb ever increasing hydro costs.
Brady Yauch, economist and executive director with the Consumer Policy Institute, also points out that the government’s proposed cap-and-trade plan would offset any reduction in hydro bills.