skip to main content
Back to all blog posts

Posted in: Ontario | Consumer Protection

Dec 13, 2016

OEB Mandates New Standard Contract Terms and Verification Calls For Electricity and Gas Retailers

By David Stevens

In early December 2016, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) issued two Notices (here and here) confirming new rules and requirements that will apply to electricity retailers and gas marketers in Ontario. As per our earlier post discussing the OEB's draft versions of these documents, the new rules are intended to implement recommendations that were set out in the OEB's June 2015 report to the Minister of Energy, Consumers Come First: A Report of the Ontario Energy Board on the Effectiveness of the Energy Consumer Protection Act, 2010. The new rules are also intended to reflect and implement the changes to the Energy Consumer Protection Act (ECPA) that were enacted through Bill 112. The updated ECPA (including changes to the applicable Regulation) will come into force on January 1, 2017.

Some of the notable items in the Board's recent Notices include:

  • Notwithstanding widespread concerns expressed by market participants, electricity retailers and gas marketers will have to use standardized plain language terms and conditions in consumer contracts. The OEB's standard form of a Contract to Buy Electricity and Natural Gas for a Home is to be adapted depending on the circumstances of the transaction. Examples of the various forms of standard contracts mandated by the OEB can be found here.
  • Where applicable, electricity retailers and gas marketers will be required to have the customer's distributor send a standardized letter (in an OEB-prescribed form) to customers, indicating that the customer is switching to an energy retailer.
  • Electricity retailers and gas marketers will be required to use revised forms of prescribed scripts when calling a consumer to confirm or renew a retailer contract (see here and here ).
  • The OEB has not yet approved online verification of retailer contracts. The OEB indicates that it is considering the proposals received from stakeholders to assess what approach might be optimal in terms of new regulatory requirements to enable online verification while ensuring that consumers remain protected.
  • The OEB's new requirements come into effect on January 1, 2017.

Related Categories

Related Blogs

Posted in: Ratemaking | Ontario | Facilities

Insights EnergyInsider
OEB Approves Hydro One's Transmission Revenue Requirement, With Some Changes By David Stevens Oct 02, 2017 On September 28, 2017, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) released its Decision on Hydro One’s transmission revenue requirement for 2017 and 2018. For the most part, the OEB accepted Hydro One’s forecasts and requests, although there are a number of areas where there are differences.

Posted in: Climate Change / Renewables | Consumer Protection | Ratemaking | Ontario

Insights EnergyInsider
Proposed Legislation Would Require Cap and Trade Costs to Be Identified on Ontario Gas Bills By David Stevens Sep 28, 2017 The Transparency in Gas Pricing Act, 2017 passed second reading on September 21, 2017, and has been referred to the Ontario Legislature’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. This proposed legislation, which is sponsored by an opposition party MP, would require that every gas...

Posted in: Ontario | Climate Change / Renewables | Ratemaking | Energy Policy

Insights EnergyInsider
OEB Approves Gas Utilities’ 2017 Cap and Trade Compliance Plans By Dennis M. O'Leary Sep 27, 2017 On September 21, 2017, the Ontario Energy Board issued its public and confidential decisions approving the 2017 Cap and Trade Compliance Plans filed by the three Gas Utilities subject to certain minor administrative adjustments. The Board approved the total estimated cost consequences for rate ma...