Province-wide electricity price adjustments to take effect on November 1

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VAUGHAN, Ontario, Nov. 6, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Province-wide adjustments to time-of-use (TOU) electricity prices, announced by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) earlier this month will be coming into effect on November 1, 2013. The new prices for residential and small business customers are as follows:

• Off-peak (7 p.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays, weekends & statutory holidays) = 7.2¢/kWh
(Up from 6.7¢/kWh, an increase of 0.5¢/kWh)
• Mid-peak (7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays) = 10.9¢/kWh
(Up from 10.4¢/kWh, an increase of 0.5¢/kWh)
• On-peak (11 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays) = 12.9¢/kWh
(Up from 12.4¢/kWh, an increase of 0.5¢/kWh)

These increases in the TOU prices, which can be found on the "Electricity" line on customer bills, reflect the rising costs in electricity generation.

PowerStream purchases electricity from the provincial electricity market on behalf of their customers and bills their customers at its cost. PowerStream and other electricity distribution companies in Ontario recover their costs through distribution charges, which are part of the "Delivery" portion that appears on customer electricity bills. Distribution charges account for approximately 20% of a PowerStream residential customer's total bill.

The combined impact of the province's new rates and charges will cost a typical PowerStream residential customer just over $4.00 on their total monthly bill. A typical small business customer will see an increase of just over $10.00 per month.

The Ontario Clean Energy Benefit (OCEB), which provides a 10% reduction on the total electricity bill, will continue.

Customers who purchase electricity from an energy retailer will continue to pay electricity prices and charges in accordance with their contracts.

• "The distribution rate reductions we achieved earlier this year for our residential and small business customers will help to mitigate the impact of the province-wide electricity price increases announced by the OEB," explained Frank Scarpitti, PowerStream Board Chair and Mayor of the City of Markham. "PowerStream's distribution rates remain among the lowest in Ontario."

• "The OEB continues to work on behalf of the consumer as well as Ontario's electricity market," explained John Glicksman, PowerStream's Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. "The increase in electricity prices reflects the rising cost in generating electricity."

• A typical residential and small business customer consumes 800 kWh and 2,000 kWh monthly, respectively.

• The OCEB credit applies to the first 3,000 kWh consumed monthly.

PowerStream is a community-owned energy company providing power and related services to more than 360,000 customers residing or owning a business in communities located immediately north of Toronto and in Central Ontario. It is jointly owned by the Cities of Barrie, Markham and Vaughan.

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Source: Powerstream