Rural ratepayers to see electricity bills decrease by an average of $540 a year

Today Ontario passed legislation that will rebate the provincial portion of the HST from electricity bills as of January 1, 2017.

The Ontario Rebate for Electricity Consumers Act, 2016 will reduce electricity costs by 8 per cent on the amount before tax, an average savings of about $130 annually or $11 each month, for about five million residential consumers, farms and small businesses.

Rural electricity ratepayers will receive additional relief, decreasing total electricity bills by an average of $540 a year or $45 each month.

“The government recognizes the need to do more to ensure an affordable energy system for everyone and is committed to providing electricity rate relief that will benefit ratepayers in a meaningful way. Starting January 1, we will provide an 8 per cent rebate to provide extra relief for Ontario’s families, farms and small businesses.”
— Glenn Thibeault, Minister of Energy

Commercial, institutional and industrial ratepayers would also benefit from up to 34 per cent lower electricity costs through the expansion of the Industrial Conservation Initiative.

Making electricity more affordable is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

QUICK FACTS

The province is reducing costs for eligible rural ratepayers by providing additional funding to the Rural or Remote Rate Protection (RRRP) program.

The Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI) provides a strong incentive for large electricity consumers to shift their electricity consumption to off-peak hours to reduce their bills by up to one-third. Ontario intends to expand ICI to help reduce cost pressures on the electricity system and enable more consumers to reduce their electricity bill by up to one third.

Ontario has removed the Debt Retirement Charge from residential electricity bills and introduced the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) to provide a monthly credit to low-income households who have applied and meet the eligibility requirements to help reduce electricity costs.

Since 2003, Ontario has invested more than $35 billion in over 16,000 megawatts (MW) of new and refurbished clean generation, including nuclear, natural gas and renewables – this represents about 40 per cent of our current supply.

Lakeland Networks rolling out 1 Gigabit fibre service to rural homes and businesses

Lakeland Networks is changing lives by rolling out 1 Gigabit fibre service to rural homes and businesses.

The municipally owned company was first out of the gate in Ontario to bring 1 Gig service to businesses of Muskoka towns in 2014. Now, with the help of the Federal-Provincial Small Communities Fund, it has gone one giant step further, connecting even out-of-town residential customers with the highest Internet speeds available, anywhere.

It is the first Canadian company to make fibre to rural customers a reality.

Lakeland has released a video telling the stories of such customers, whom for less than $100 can now upload, download and browse using their blazing fast fibre connection. With no data cap, streaming of movies, videos, and TV shows has never been easier. Included is a fully featured phone line for local and long distance calling.

The attached video features Maria aka Nozie, who uploads her accordion performances in under five minutes from rural Bracebridge; Jennifer Maloney, a food blogger sharing recipes with large photos she could never have uploaded before, and who previously had little or no access to high speed of any kind from her home, east of Bracebridge; and Hannah, a high school student who used to struggle with uploading her homework and essays but no longer.

The ambitious $8.6 million project to extend Lakeland’s existing fibre network was made possible with $5.7 million from the Small Communities Fund. Since being selected for funding a year ago, the company has managed to roll out another 100 kilometres of fibre optic in areas beyond Bracebridge and Huntsville (such as Port Sydney and parts of Utterson). “We are very thankful for our federal-provincial partnership which we hope to build on, to provide high speed internet to more customers in rural Muskoka and other parts of Ontario” says Chris Litschko, Chief Executive Officer, Lakeland Holding Ltd.

“We’re well ahead of plan both in fibre construction and customer connections due to the quality and commitment of our great team,” says Litschko.

Lakeland Holding is owned by six municipalities, including Bracebridge, Huntsville, Parry Sound, Burk’s Falls, Sundridge and Magnetawan. Since 2007, Lakeland Networks has expanded its infrastructure to over 400 kilometres of fibre.

About Lakeland Networks

Lakeland Networks, a division of Lakeland Energy Ltd. is a subsidiary of Lakeland Holding Ltd. which is owned by 6 local municipalities: Bracebridge, Huntsville, Parry Sound, Burk’s Falls, Sundridge and Magnetawan. These municipalities amalgamated their electricity assets together to form Lakeland Power Distribution Ltd. (electricity distribution) and Bracebridge Generation (green waterpower electricity generation). Later, they created Lakeland Energy Ltd/Lakeland Networks to help support areas of business that needed assistance, providing services including high-speed fibre internet, VoIP phone service, point-to-point networking for business Internet, and full service IT and local area network and VLAN extension solutions.

For more information contact:

Bill Gispen, Manager, Lakeland Networks
1-844-662-7722 ext. 507
bgispen@lakelandnetworks.com

Video Title: A Canadian First: Rural Fibre to the Home. Video available at https://youtu.be/AcM0cYiOSbQ

Connect with the company:
Facebook.com/Lakeland-Networks-1575613902688269/?fref=ts
Twitter.com/@LakelandNetwork