If you don’t see an answer to your question, or you need additional assistance, please write to us at AdvantagePower@AlectraUtilities.com or call our Customer Care Centre at 1-844-952-5291.
Phase 2 of the program begins March 1, 2018 and ends March 31, 2019.
One key difference is that in Phase 1, you never pay more than your regular bill on standard Time-of-Use rates; while in Phase 2, you could end up paying more, depending on your electricity consumption habits.
Your monthly Alectra Utilities bill will have a bill credit or debit so that the amount you pay reflects your costs under the APP-Dynamic rates. Depending on your usage, your monthly bill could go up or down. You’ll be able to track your credits or debits through the monthly reports that you’ll continue to receive, and also through the APP web portal. These tools can inform you whether to stay or opt-out of the program. Note that you are not obligated to stay in the program and can opt-out at any time.
Reports will follow your normal billing cycle (typically 30 days), which usually starts on a day in the middle of the month – it is shown on your Alectra Utilities bill. This change means that the consumption listed on your Alectra Utilities bill will now match the consumption on your monthly report.
In general, bill adjustments will be one month in arrears relative to your Alectra Utilities bill, so you can see in advance whether your monthly bill will be higher or lower than it would be under Time-of-Use rates.
In order to bridge the gap between March 1st (when Phase 2 begins) and the start of your next billing cycle (which usually falls on a day other than the 1st of the month), your first report during Phase 2 will cover the period from March 1 to the end of your billing cycle ending in April. For example, a customer with a billing cycle beginning on the 14th of the month will receive a report that shows the period of March 1 to March 13 along with the period March 14 to April 13. The ‘Savings’ box at the top of the report will show the savings for the current billing cycle (e.g., March 14 to April 13) while the ‘Program to Date’ box will include the current billing cycle as well as the bridge period (e.g., March 1 to April 13). Going forward, monthly reports would be issued for each billing cycle (e.g., April 14 to May 13), with the 'Savings' box showing the current billing cycle, and the ‘Program to Date’ box providing a running tally of your bill impacts from March 1st.
You will receive your first report for Phase 2 in June. This report will be newly re-designed to be more user-friendly and efficient.
We are happy to announce that the APP web portal will be available to all APP customers in March 2018. Apart from viewing your current and past shadow bills electronically, the APP web portal also provides insights on your energy consumption, information about APP rates, the number of days this season with each rate and tips on managing your energy. Visit AlectraUtilities.com/AdvantagePower/Portal to create an account. You will need a copy of your Alectra bill the first time that you log into the portal.
Apart from the potential bill savings, you may also receive one of the two thermostat incentives available to APP participants.
If you have an existing smart thermostat (Nest, ecobee, or Honeywell), you may register this thermostat and receive up to $75 incentive applied on your bill.
If you do not have any of these thermostats, you may be eligible to receive an Energate Foundation thermostat installed free by one of our licensed contractors. With the Energate thermostat, you will be able to remotely control your thermostat via the thermostat portal or a phone app.
For more details including registering your existing thermostat or booking an appointment for Energate thermostat installation, please visit our APP Technology page.
Yes, you are still eligible to participate in the APP program, however you are not eligible to receive the $75 incentive. You may still enjoy the other benefits of being in the program like potential bill savings.
You can access your Energate thermostat through the MyEnergate portal. The MyEnergate portal offers you full web-based control to monitor and manage your thermostat and other enrolled devices, view analysis and current weather conditions. To access the portal:
- Visit Alectra.MyEnergate.com
- Enter your user name and password (This will be provided to you via email within 10 business days of thermostat installation. It will be sent to the email you used during program registration.)
The APP program is being offered by Alectra Utilities to its eligible residential customers. Alectra is working with a number of partners in order to provide the best services to you. Util-Assist provides customer care services including the call centre; Energate and Tantalus provide the technologies and technical support; and Nest and ecobee co-promote the program to their subscribers.
If you have any questions about the program, it is best to call our Customer Care Centre at 1-844-952-5291 and they will direct you the right person.
During Phase 1 (September 1 to February 28, 2018), your bill remains unaffected. You will continue to receive your regular electricity bill from Alectra Utilities, according to normal Time-of-Use (TOU) prices. Please continue to pay this bill in a timely manner. At the end of Phase 1, you will receive an on-bill credit for the amount you saved, up to $500. If you do not achieve any savings during Phase 1, you will not be responsible for any additional costs.
Throughout Phase 1, you will also receive monthly reports that compare the cost of electricity you used under TOU to what you would have paid under APP-Dynamic. The report also includes a calculation of your electricity cost savings, but does not contain any ‘Delivery’ or ‘Regulatory’ charges. The cost savings on your report for February 2018 will be the amount that you will see as a bill credit on your Alectra Utilities bill.
Once Phase 2 commences (March 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019), your bill (which you’ll receive in June or July depending on your billing cycle) could go up or down depending on your electricity consumption. Your bill will still show standard TOU rates, but the difference between the cost of electricity you used under the TOU rates and the APP-Dynamic rates will be added as a credit or debit on your bill. The amount of the debit or credit will be shown in the monthly report that will be mailed to you, and will also be in your APP web portal.
Customers are advised to review their monthly reports and the web portal for any cost impacts that occur under the Advantage Power Pricing program.
During the trial period, you will pay the low Off-peak price of 4.9¢/kWh for electricity over 80% of the time. This low rate means that you’ll be spending less on electricity under APP-Dynamic than you would under Time-of-Use. By managing your consumption in the remaining periods, especially during High On-peak and Critical Peak price periods, you can reduce your overall cost of electricity. In particular, avoid running appliances that consume a lot of electricity during On-peak periods. These appliances include electric clothes dryers, electric water heaters, pool pumps, electric ranges and ovens. Also, turn off lights and electronic devices that aren’t being used.
You can also schedule your thermostat to reduce cooling during the On-peak periods, and even to pre-cool your home in anticipation of the On-peak period that begins at 3:00 p.m. If you have an Energate Foundation thermostat, you can set it to adjust the temperature of your home in anticipation of On-peak periods and to curtail it during the On-peak period. You will be able to save money by reducing the amount of electricity you consume during On-peak times. This means either shifting your consumption from On-peak to Off-peak periods, or simply reducing your consumption during On-peak periods.
Over the course of the trial period, you will likely see significant savings from APP-Dynamic relative to Time-of-Use rates through the “shoulder” months of Spring and Fall, when homes don’t need much heating or cooling. During the hottest and coldest months, there will be more Medium, High and Critical Peak days. Depending on your response to the greater frequency of these higher-priced periods that are likely in these months, you may see limited or even negative savings in these months. Taking action by making modest efforts to reduce consumption on days with higher prices will help you to achieve the most savings.
Your monthly report compares the cost of the electricity you used under the Time-of-Use (TOU) cost structure to what you would have paid under the APP-Dynamic cost structure. It will also show you a cumulative total of your savings to date. At the end of Phase 1, you will be issued a bill credit for the total savings (up to $500) shown on the February 2018 report. You are responsible for tracking your own savings and tracking whether you have exceeded the maximum incentive amount. Alectra Utilities is not responsible for any increases in your electricity costs if you continue to shift your consumption to benefit from APP-Dynamic after you have reached the maximum incentive amount of $500.
Once Phase 2 begins, a bill credit or debit will be added to your next monthly bill equal to the price difference between APP-Dynamic and regular Time-of-Use. You will still receive your regular bill following the TOU structure, but you will also receive your monthly report with the price difference. The difference between the price under the TOU rate and the APP-Dynamic rate will be added as a credit or debit to your next bill. You will also be able to see more information on your cost difference or previous monthly reports at AlectraUtilities.com/AdvantagePower/Portal.
Yes! Please visit our APP Technology page for more information about our smart thermostat incentives.
Visit our APP Technology page to find out more about how home energy management technology can help you feel comfortable and reduce your energy costs - you can even get an incentive of $50 for signing up!
Your monthly report compares the cost of the electricity you used under the Time-of-Use cost structure to what you would have paid under the APP-Dynamic structure. Using this consumption and price data, you can manage your electricity consumption and this can ultimately lead to savings.
The online Customer Portal provides another layer of information beyond what’s in your monthly report. You can view your historical energy consumption along with a breakdown by price period, savings to date, and energy savings tips. You can also view copies of all previous monthly reports. The portal is accessible at AlectraUtilities.com/AdvantagePower/Portal.
Electricity conservation programs can also help you reduce your electricity bill and save money. Learn more about our programs at www.ComfortableSavings.com.
You can increase your home’s energy efficiency through simple changes to the devices that use energy in your home and the way that you use them. For example, weatherstripping and insulation will help reduce the amount of energy your heating and cooling system needs to keep your home comfortable, while power bars with timers can turn off electronic equipment that otherwise would consume electricity, even when turned off. You could also be eligible to get incentives to buy more energy-efficient appliances like furnaces and air conditioners. Visit www.ComfortableSavings.com for more information.
The Independent Electricity System Operator also has efficiency tips and tools for home on their website.
The summer and winter rate periods run on the same schedule as the standard Time-of-Use rates. The summer rates run from May 1st – October 31st while the winter rates run from November 1st – April 30th.
The rates for electricity in Advantage Power Pricing (APP) are provided by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB), which also sets Time-of-Use (TOU) rates. The OEB uses the same provincial costs that are used to calculate standard TOU rates, ensuring consistency and fairness.
APP is designed to be revenue-neutral between a customer on APP who does not shift their consumption into the lower-priced periods, and one on standard TOU rates. This makes it relevant as a trial program and ensures fairness for all Ontario ratepayers. For a customer with an average consumption profile who doesn’t shift their consumption, the change in costs is expected to be minimal.
As APP is intended to be revenue-neutral with respect to TOU rates, changes in the TOU rates will result in changes to APP rates as well. APP prices may change on May 1, 2018 to conincide with any changes to Ontario’s Regulated Price Plan.
It is important to note that Alectra Utilities collects electricity revenues on behalf of electricity generators, and passes it on to them without holdback or markup. Alectra Utilities’ revenue is collected through regulated distribution charges, listed on the “Distribution” line of your Alectra Utilities bill.
There are several ways that you can be informed of the On-peak price in effect each day. Remember that On-peak prices are only in effect on weekdays; weekends and holidays are always Off-peak.
- You will receive daily emails with the On-peak electricity rate in effect for the following day. It will be sent to the email address you provided during registration. You will start receiving the daily price communications within 2 business days of the receipt of the approval email to get familiar with the APP schedule and rates prior to your effective date.
- You can elect to receive daily price updates via text message by calling 1-844-952-5291 or email AdvantagePower@AlectraUtilities.com.
- By default, customers will be enrolled to receive email notifications, but customers can choose communications through either, both or neither email or text messages.
- You can log into the Advantage Power Pricing (APP) Customer Portal, which provides current and next day (after 2 p.m.) prices. Visit the APP Customer Portal at www.PowerStream.ca/AdvantagePower/Portal.
Critical Peak Pricing (CPP) is activated on the days with the highest demand for electricity on Ontario’s electricity system. High demand makes the electricity system operate less efficiently, which makes electricity more expensive. CPP events may take place between the hours of 12:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., for a maximum of four hours. Customers will always be given at least two hours’ notice before a CPP event. There will be six CPP events that occur during the highest forecast demand in each of the summer and winter seasons.
The APP-Dynamic program is scheduled to end on March 31, 2019. You will receive your final bill credit or debit on your April or May 2019 bill. More information will be provided in due course.
You are not committed to staying in the program until it ends on March 31, 2019. You can withdraw from the program at any time without penalty.
However, keep in mind that during Phase 1, there is no risk that you’ll pay more under APP-Dynamic than you would under Time-of-Use rates during Phase 1. You’ll receive payment for your APP-Dynamic savings at the end of Phase 1. Once Phase 2 commences, there will be no bill protection and a credit or debit will be added to your bill. At this point, if the impact of APP-Dynamic on your bill is not what you expected, you are not committed to staying in the program.