On May 1 2002, the Ontario electricity market was deregulated, allowing a floating wholesale price that responds to supply and demand. In December 2002 the Ontario government capped the rate at $CDN 0.043/kWh for residential and small business consumers, in response to the complaints from the electorate. But the producers are still earning whatever the market will bear, with the difference being made up by tacking additional debt onto the "stranded debt" of the old Ontario Hydro. Not a sustainable thing to do. The Independent Market Operator (IMO) oversees the electricity sales.
Yesterday I received a 2-month hydro bill for my residence in Deep River (4200 people suburban-density housing). Unfortunately my house came with electric heat and nat gas hot water (the worst of both worlds) For a 2 month period to the middle of February my house consumed 5350 kWh (it's a reasonably large 17-yr old split level), despite having (as always) plasticized all the windows and reduced the thermostat set point at night and when we're not home.
The bill was $510, but would have been $101 higher if rates had not been capped at $43/MWhe (I used the average demand-weighted electricity cost during the billing period, courtesy of hourly data on the IMO web site). The average wholesale spot market price was about 50% higher than the capped price, but due to the additional non-floating per-kWh overhead costs (debt "reduction" charge, delivery charge, etc.) the impact on my bill would have been only 20% higher than with the capped rates. Note that my actual consumption (5350 kWh) is multiplied by a factor of 1.054 to "account for line losses". A friend in a rural area has a "line loss" factor closer to 1.1. What are your line loss factors?
The following are the average demand-weighted wholesale spot market prices in $CDN/MWh (which most Ontario consumers would have paid if the $CDN 43 cap hadn't been put in place in Dec). The month periods are approximate, for I used the weekly IMO data (e.g. Feb 2003 covers Jan 29 - Feb 25 2003). The overall average (year to date) is 60.83 $CDN/MWhe to Mar 4.
May 2002 29.06
Jan 2003 60.21