OEB Releases Decisions on 2008 Electricity Distribution Rate Applications



    TORONTO, March 18 /CNW/ - Today the Ontario Energy Board (the Board)
issued its Decisions regarding 2008 electricity distribution rate applications
for the following utilities:

    
    - London Hydro Inc.                     - Niagara-on-the-Lake Hydro Inc.
    - Welland Hydro-Electric System         - Burlington Hydro Inc.
      Corp.                                 - Bluewater Power Distribution
    - Greater Sudbury Hydro Inc.              Corporation
    - Haldimand County Hydro Inc.           - Cooperative Hydro Embrun Inc.
    - Hydro Hawkesbury Inc.                 - West Perth Power Inc.
    

    The distribution rates will take effect May 1, 2008 and will be reflected
in the "Delivery" line of consumers' bills. The Board has directed the
utilities listed above to submit draft rate schedules reflecting the Board's
Decisions within seven calendar days of today's date.
    Distribution rates are set to recover the cost to deliver electricity to
consumers and reflect an individual utility's cost of service. Utilities apply
to have their proposed rates to deliver electricity reviewed by the Board
through a public process to determine what costs can be passed on to
consumers.
    In 2008, distribution rates will be set using two different
methodologies. Most utilities will have their rates set using incentive
regulation guidelines which provide a standard rate adjustment that accounts
for inflation and productivity improvements. Others will have their rates set
by way of a cost of service review, in which the utility applies for rates
based on the costs it incurs to deliver electricity.
    For the rate year which starts on May 1, 2008, 21 utilities are having
their 2008 rates set by way of a cost of service rate review. Sixty utilities
are having their 2008 rates set using the Board's incentive regulation
guidelines. This announcement pertains to utilities having their rates set
using the incentive regulation guidelines.
    Bill impacts resulting from the decisions released today will be
announced in the coming weeks, after the Board approves and issues final rate
orders to the utilities.
    In mid-April, the Board will also announce the results of its review of
the cost of electricity supply for consumers under the Regulated Price Plan
(RPP), reflected in the "Electricity" line of the bill. The RPP price is paid
by consumers that do not have a contract with a retailer for their electricity
supply and is subject to review and adjustment, if necessary, twice a year.
Any change to the RPP price will also take effect May 1, 2008 and will also
affect total bill charges.
    Starting mid-April, a table of the estimated bill impacts on residential
consumers will be available once any potential adjustments to the RPP are
determined and as specific rate orders for individual utilities are issued by
the Board. This table will be published on the Board's website
www.oeb.gov.on.ca.
    For more information please refer to the 2008 Electricity Distribution
Rates Backgrounder on the OEB website site at
http://www.oeb.gov.on.ca/documents/communications/pressreleases/2008/backgroun
der_2008_EDR.pdf.

    The Ontario Energy Board regulates the province's electricity and natural
gas sectors in the public interest. It envisions a viable and efficient energy
sector with informed consumers served by responsive regulatory processes that
are effective, fair and transparent. For more information on the Board, please
visit our web site at www.oeb.gov.on.ca or contact the Consumer Relations
Centre at 416-314-2455 or toll-free at 1-877-632-2727.




For further information:

For further information: Vanda Wall, Ontario Energy Board, (416)
440-8149


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