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In Ontario the prices that local electricity distribution companies such as Lakefront Utilities can charge their customers are set by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB). Every five years Lakefront proposes a "price list" for the next four years. This year was Lakefront's time to propose charges for January 2022 to January 2027. The OEB requires that charges be based on planned expenses, forecast electricity usage, allowed investor returns, cost of borrowing and many other factors. An analysis of all of these factors is presented to the OEB in a lengthy document (this year Lakefront submitted over 1200 printed pages together with dozens of spreadsheets). In addition to the OEB, representatives of affected groups – homeowners, low income consumers, large industrial users, etc. – submit written questions about Lakefront's proposed rates. As in 2016, the Cobourg Taxpayers Association (CTA) was accepted by the OEB as one of the official intervenors to analyze Lakefront's proposal on behalf of the residents of Cobourg.

In addition to the usual increase in rates, Lakefront proposed several additional charges. Particularly important for Cobourg's many seniors was a charge of $2/month for customers who are not computer savvy and prefer a printed bill. A $15 special charge for duplicate bills was also proposed. Lakefront wanted to penalize large users such as our Northumberland Hills Hospital with a "standby charge" if they choose to install their own solar panels or other power sources to reduce CO2 production. Due to the efforts of the CTA and the other intervenors, none of these new charges were approved. Changes from Lakefront's original proposal include:

Volunteers from the CTA have worked many hours to ensure that Lakefront Utilities is run efficiently, encourages environmentally friendly energy conservation plans and that Cobourg's electricity users get the lowest possible rates consistent with a reliable service.

Ken Strauss


The OEB's complete, 100+ page, final decision is available at