skip to main content
Back to all blog posts

Posted in: Practice & Procedure | Ontario | Consumer Protection

May 24, 2017

OEB Issues “Consumer Charter” and Announces Details of Review of Utilities’ Current Customer Service Rules

By David Stevens

On May 16, 2017, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) published its “Consumer Charter.” As explained by the OEB, the Consumer Charter sets out the key rights held by Ontario energy consumers in an “easily understood format.” The consumer rights addressed in the Consumer Charter are:

  • Safe and reliable service;
  • Accurate and timely bills;
  • Fair security deposit policies;
  • Fair disconnection and reconnection practices;
  • Fair, reasonable and timely complaint resolution processes; and
  • Personal privacy.

On the same date as the Consumer Charter was published, the OEB also announced the next steps in its review of Customer Service Rules for Electricity and Gas consumers. This initiative (discussed in an earlier post) was first promised at the time that the OEB implemented rules to ban local electricity distribution companies (LDCs) from disconnecting residential consumers during the past winter season.

According to the OEB’s May 16, 2017 letter to Electricity and Gas Utilities and Unit Sub-Metering Providers, the review of customer service rules will proceed in two phases. Phase I will involve a review of existing disconnection and reconnection policies as well as billing and payment rules, security deposits and arrears management programs. Phase II will review customer service rules related to management of customer accounts and correction of billing errors. Phase II will also look at whether changes are required to the current Reporting & Record Keeping Requirements (RRRs) and whether those should be expanded to also cover Unit Sub-Metering Providers.

The OEB is now planning to gather information from interested parties, including consumers and utilities. This will be done through engagement with focus groups and the OEB’s “Consumer Panel,” and through surveys to be provided to utilities and others. The OEB expects that Phase I of its review will be completed by Fall 2017 (in advance of the next winter season).

Further information about the OEB’s Review of Customer Service Rules will be posted to a page on the OEB’s website.

Related Blogs

Posted in: Canada (Federal) | Practice & Procedure | Facilities

Insights EnergyInsider
TransCanada Abandons Energy East Project By David Stevens Oct 05, 2017 On October 5, 2017, TransCanada Corporation announced that it will not proceed with the Energy East and Eastern Mainline projects. As a result, TransCanada will withdraw its applications to the National Energy Board for these projects.

Posted in: Practice & Procedure | Facilities | Canada (Federal)

Insights EnergyInsider
Court Orders Government to Reconsider its Approval of an Assignment of an Easement Related to the Trans Mountain Pipeline By David Stevens and Dillon Collett Oct 05, 2017 In a decision related to the Trans Mountain pipeline, the Federal Court of Appeal has decided against Kinder Morgan and the Federal Government. In Coldwater Indian Band v. Canada (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development), issued on September 26, 2017, the FCA held that the Minister of Indigen...

Posted in: Practice & Procedure | Ratemaking

Insights EnergyInsider
OEB Allows Correction of Error From 2011 Rates Proceeding By Fred D. Cass Sep 22, 2017 On September 21, 2017, the Ontario Energy Board issued a decision in which it ordered Natural Resource Gas Limited (NRG) to correct the reference prices used in NRG’s Purchased Gas Transportation Variance Account (PGTVA) for fiscal years 2011 to 2015. NRG records in the PGTVA, on a monthly ...