Implementation Details for Ontario's 8% Electricity Rebate Announced
On February 9, 2017, the Ontario Energy Board issued a letter titled Implementation of the Ontario Rebate for Electricity Consumers. As we described in an earlier post, starting on January 1, 2017, the Ontario Rebate for Electricity Consumers (OREC) provides an 8% rebate (equal to the provincial portion of HST) to residential and commercial customers directly on their electricity bills. The specific legislative requirements for the OREC implementation are set out in the General Regulation and the Invoicing Regulation under the Ontario Rebate for Electricity Consumers Act, 2016.
The OEB's letter sets out the details about how electricity distributors, as well as retailers who issue their own invoices and licensed unit sub-meterers (these parties are referred to collectively as "licensed financial assistance providers"), are to implement the OREC. In many ways, the implementation and reporting is similar to what was in place for the "Ontario Clean Energy Benefit" (which was also a rebate-type credit on consumer bills). The OEB's letter includes an overview of the implementation and invoicing requirements for the OREC, as are set out in the Regulations noted above. Additionally, the OEB's letter indicates that each licensed financial assistance provider must file a letter confirming the date on which their invoices began to display and credit the OREC (or the date before July 1, 2017 when this is expected to commence, along with an explanation of reasons for the delay). No indication is provided about what the OEB will do in cases where a licensed financial assistance provider's implementation is delayed.