In Ontario, The Ultra-Low Overnight (ULO) price plan is a third option for electricity consumers, along with the Time-of-Use (TOU) and Tiered plans. The ULO plan was created in response to the increasing popularity of electric vehicles (EVs).
As of May 1, 2023, Toronto Hydro, London Hydro, Centre Wellington Hydro, Hearst Power, Renfrew Hydro, Wasaga Distribution, and Sioux Lookout Hydro will offer the ULO option. By November 1, 2023, all utility services must offer the ULO plan to customers.
How the rates are determined
The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) sets the rates for the ULO. Similar to the TOU plan, the ULO plan is grouped into different pricing periods. Prices depend on when you use electricity.
Here is the pricing structure as of May 1, 2023:
ULO Price Periods
Time (all year)
Ultra-Low Overnight (demand for electricity lowest on average)
Every day, 11 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Weekends and holidays, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Mid-Peak (demand for electricity is moderate)
Weekdays, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.
On-peak (demand for electricity is highest on average)
Weekdays, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Who is eligible
The ULO is available to all residential and small-business customers. Customers who primarily use electricity overnight would likely see the most benefit.
The benefits of the ULO pricing plan
The main benefit of the ULO plan is that it will help certain customers save money on their electricity bills. As mentioned earlier, customers who mostly use electricity overnight (e.g., shift workers, and late-night businesses) will see the greatest benefit from the ULO. According to the Ontario government, ULO customers could save up to $90 per year on electricity. EV users will also see reduced costs with the ULO plan. Charging an EV at night is less expensive and will be quicker since there is less demand on the grid.
Another benefit of the ULO price plan is that it will help reduce emissions. More customers will be encouraged to use evening electricity, which is usually generated from zero-emission resources like hydro, wind, and nuclear power. Shifting electricity generation to overnight hours also enables Ontario to better manage the clean electricity grid. Efficiency will increase, resulting in $5.7 million per year in potential capacity cost savings.
The downside to the ULO price plan is that it’s not beneficial for the average Ontario consumer. Most Ontarians use electricity during on-peak hours (4 p.m. – 9 p.m. on weekdays). Therefore, they cannot take advantage of the reduced rate and instead pay 24 ¢/kWh. These customers will likely benefit more from the Tiered or TOU pricing plans.
For more information on Ontario electricity rates, click here.
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