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Hydro bills will continue to see 'debt retirement charge'

To compensate households, the province may extend Clean Energy Benefit

The province is considering extending the 10 per cent Clean Energy Benefit on your hydro bills to compensate for being at least a year behind in paying off stranded debt.

Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli says it's one of the options they're looking at, underlining it will be a cabinet decision.  

As it stands, the "debt retirement charge" is up to $7 per household hydro bill. It was put into place to deal with the left-over debt when the province broke up Ontario Hydro in 1998 to form Hydro One and Ontario Power Generation.
 
The clean energy benefit is legislated to end next year, but Chiarelli says the province is considering ways to give Ontarians a break, given the Liberal government will likely have to extend its "debt retirement charge" into at least 2016.

While the province gave a window of between 2015-2018 to pay down the stranded debt, it had hoped to get it done next year.

Chiarelli says when the Clean Energy Benefit was put into place, the province had hoped it would go hand-in-hand with the "debt retirement charge" on your bill, to give households a break.

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