Facing growing consumer unrest over soaring electricity bills with an election looming next fall, Ontario’s Liberal government will implement a $1-billion plan to cut electricity bills by 10 per cent, government sources said yesterday.

The Canadian Press learned the Ontario “Clean Energy Benefit” will be introduced today by Finance Minister Dwight Duncan as part of his fall economic update.

The plan, which would take effect Jan. 1, is designed to take the sting out of rising bills, which jumped another eight per cent July 1 when the HST was added to hydro.

Premier Dalton McGuinty wouldn’t speak to the specifics of the program yesterday, but said the government knows consumers are feeling the pinch, especially as the province pays to update the electricity system and moves to more expensive green energy.

“We’ve got to make sure that families can cope,” he said.