Glossary of Terms

Residential and Small Commercial Customers



Regulatory Charges

Debt Retirement Charge (DRC)

Ontario Clean Energy Benefit

Global Adjustment



The cost for the electricity you used during the billing period.

Low-volume consumers (households and small businesses) who buy their electricity from Waterloo North Hydro pay time-of-use (TOU) prices or tiered prices (limited application.) These prices, referred to as Regulated Price Plan or RPP pricing, are set by the ONTARIO ENERGY BOARD (OEB) based on a forecast of how much it will cost to supply electricity to all households and small businesses over the next 12 months. Prices are designed to recover the payments made to the electricity generators that produce the power (including market costs and the Global Adjustment.) Prices are reviewed twice a year by the OEB, on May 1st and Nov 1st, and adjusted if necessary.

Waterloo North Hydro buys the electricity supplied to you from the wholesale market; the RPP prices you pay allow Waterloo North Hydro to recover that supply cost. Utilities are not allowed to make a profit on the electricity they buy for their customers.

Time of Use Rates+
There are three time-of-use price periods:

  • Off-peak, when provincial demand for electricity is lowest. Ontario households use the majority of their electricity - nearly two thirds of it - during off-peak hours.
  • Mid-peak, when provincial demand for electricity is moderate. These periods are during the daytime, but not the busiest times of day.
  • On-peak, when provincial demand is highest. The busiest times of day. Generally when people are cooking, firing up their computers and running heaters or air conditioners.

Visit our Time of Use Page for rates and daily pricing periods and more information.

+ Line Loss Adjustment Factor of 0.0362 applied to these charges and the amount added to the delivery line charges

Tiered Rates+
Most customers are on Time of Use rates however a small number of customers remain on tiered rates either as they are transitioned to Time of Use or for other limited applications.

If you have signed a retail contract:
The electricity price set out in your contract. Typically, it's a fixed price for a set number of years. The OEB does not regulate the prices offered by these companies. Visit our Electricity Retailers page for more information.

You will also have to pay your share of the Global Adjustment for each month.



The cost of delivering electricity from generating stations across the Province to your home or business through high voltage (transmission) and low voltage (distribution) electricity systems.

All the charges on this line of the bill are approved by the ONTARIO ENERGY BOARD. Some of the charges are fixed at a set amount per month. Others are variable and increase or decrease depending on the amount of electricity you have used. Delivery charges include:

  • Customer Service Charge: A fixed monthly charge intended to allow Waterloo North Hydro to recover the costs associated with meter reading, billing, customer service and account maintenance, and general utility operations.

  • Distribution Charge: A variable per kilowatt-hour (kWh) charge intended to allow Waterloo North Hydro to recover the cost of building and maintaining our low-voltage distribution system, including overhead and underground distribution lines, poles, and transformer stations.

  • Transmission Charge: A variable per kilowatt-hour (kWh) charge collected by Waterloo North Hydro and intended to allow Hydro One to recover the cost of operation and maintenance of the high-voltage transmission system that carries electricity from generating stations to Waterloo North Hydro.

  • Ontario Energy Board Regulated Rate Riders: Variable per kilowatt-hour (kWh) rate collected by Waterloo North Hydro to recover or refund the accumulated difference between wholesale market costs paid by Waterloo North Hydro and those paid by customers. Wholesale charges paid by Waterloo North Hydro are simply passed through to customers; there however can be a small accumulated difference based on a rate differential between the two.

  • Loss Adjustment: When electricity is delivered over a power line, it is normal for a small amount of power to be consumed, or lost, as heat. In calculating your electricity costs for the billing period, Waterloo North Hydro multiplies your cost of electricity by an ONTARIO ENERGY BOARD approved adjustment factor that accounts for those losses. 


Regulatory Charges

This Charge Includes:

  • The Wholesale Market Service Charge: Covers services provided by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to operate the wholesale electricity market and maintain the reliability of the high voltage power grid. It also covers certain costs incurred by Waterloo North Hydro to connect renewable generation (such as wind and solar power.) Wholesale Market Service Charge is set by the OEB to allow these costs to be passed on to consumers.
  • Standard Supply Service - Administration Charge: Covers a portion of Waterloo North Hydro's administrative costs to provide electricity to Standard Service Supply customers that purchase their electricity from Waterloo North Hydro (i.e. customers that are not served by a retailer.) This charge is set by the ONTARIO ENERGY BOARD and is the same for all utilities across the province. 


Debt Retirement Charge (DRC)

This charge is set by the Ontario Ministry of Finance and is used by the government to pay down the residual stranded debt of the former Ontario Hydro. The rate is $0.007 per kWh.

Residential customers will no longer pay this charge after December 31, 2015.


Ontario Clean Energy Benefit

A credit equals to 10% off the cost of up to 3,000 kWh/month of electricity use for qualifying customers. Program ends on December 31, 2015.
For more information, visit


Global Adjustment

If you purchase electricity from a retailer, you will see a separate line item on your bill for the "Global Adjustment". The Global Adjustment accounts for differences between the market price of electricity and the regulated or contract prices paid to generators for the electricity they produce. These include nuclear, gas-fired and renewable generators (like wind farms) that have contracts with the Ontario Power Authority* (OPA) and generators that have contracts with the Ontario Electricity Financial Corporation (OEFC), as well as Ontario Power Generation's "baseload" generating stations that operate at or near capacity all the time to meet basic demand.

The ONTARIO ENERGY BOARD does not set or approve the amounts paid by the OPA or OEFC to contracted generators, but it does set the amounts that are paid to Ontario Power Generation for electricity generated by its baseload facilities.

The Global Adjustment also includes the cost of OPA conservation and demand management programs. Those costs are not subject to ONTARIO ENERGY BOARD approval. Also covered by the Global Adjustment are any ONTARIO ENERGY BOARD-approved costs incurred by utilities to achieve their mandatory conservation and demand reduction targets.

The Global Adjustment is calculated monthly by the IESO. Because a large portion of the Global Adjustment is calculated as the difference between the market price and regulated or contracted generation prices, it can be either a credit or a charge to consumers depending on fluctuations in the market price. However, it has been a charge since 2006. Visit IESO web site at for current and historical rates +

For Customers on RPP, the Global Adjustment is built into the rate.

* Note: The Ontario Power Authority merged with the Independent Electricity System Operator on January 1, 2015.

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