Cornwall Electric rates going up 2.95%

A sign spreads an energy conservation message outside the Cornwall Electric offices on Sydney Street on Oct. 14, 2016 in Cornwall, Ont. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – Cornwall Electric customers will be getting zapped in their wallet by an almost three per cent increase in their hydro bill starting next month.

The utility has announced that there will be a rate increase of 2.95 per cent, starting July 1.

It’s the largest increase in recent years as last year’s increase was 2 per cent. It was 1 per cent in 2018 and 2.5 per cent in 2017.

For residential customers, the rate for the first 250 kilowatts of power will go from 15.99 cents per kilowatt hour to 16.46 cents. The consumption balance will go from 12.6 cents per kilowatt hour to 12.97 cents.

Cornwall Electric – part of FortisOntario – says its rates “continue to compare very favourably to surrounding Ontario electrical utilities.” It says nearly 80 per cent of a customers’ bill is the wholesale cost of power.

In its announcement, Regional Manager Jackie Baird says the retail rates should have been increased by 4.62 per cent, but it will be 2.95 per cent “considering the impact of COVID-19 on the local economy and Cornwall Electric customers.”

It plans to collect the difference in the 2021-2022 rate increase.

Cornwall Electric has 24,800 customers in Cornwall, South Glengarry, South Stormont and Cornwall Island.