Ontario Power Market
Ontario holds one third of Canada’s population and is Canada’s largest power market.

May 1, 2002 marked the opening of Ontario’s wholesale electricity market. Since then, the Ontario electricity industry has evolved from a self-regulated Ontario Hydro monopoly to the more decentralized hybrid market structure. Almost 300 buyers and sellers of wholesale electricity in Ontario form a $10 billion market annually.

Since 2002 more that 4,400 megawatts (MW) of refurbished or new generation has come on line and there are plans for an additional 7000 MW of generation to come on line by 2011. Since deregulation, between 2003 through 2006, the average load-weighted price of wholesale electricity has decreased by an average of 2 percent per year.

In December 2004, the Ontario government passed the Electricity Restructuring Act, 2004, further reorganizing the province’s electricity sector to form a hybrid electricity market. The hybrid market consisted of a competitive wholesale market coexisting with regulated prices in parts of the electricity sector. The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) was created and the IMO was renamed the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO).

Deregulation of Canada’s largest power market will bring choice to Individuals and businesses regarding who they will buy their electricity from and to an extent, the way electricity is generated. Deregulation, in the long term promises to offer lower electricity prices, while bringing better services, management practices, and technological innovations to the market.

Transmission and local distribution will continue to be regulated to protect reliability, ensure lower distribution costs and curb overall electricity prices.

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