Motion Dismissed When Two-Person OEB Panel Does Not Reach Unanimous Decision
On March 23, 2017, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) released its Decision and Order in a Review Motion that the OEB itself had commenced, indicating that the hearing panel could not reach a unanimous decision. Essentially, the Decision and Order indicated that because the motion was heard by a two-person panel, it was necessary to have a unanimous decision in order to grant any relief. The case raises the question of whether in future cases involving contested issues the OEB will ensure a three-person panel to avoid similar outcomes.
The Review Motion asked parties to address several specific questions raised by a prior OEB Decision. As the OEB hearing panel in the Review Motion did not reach any decision, the panel found that there would be "little utility" in releasing the reasons for each panel member's position on the listed questions, and declined to do so. However, the OEB did find that the case "raised and explored important issues" that apply to many electricity distributors and so the Panel concluded by stating that "[t]he OEB is therefore initiating a review of the treatment of pass-through charges that will consider options for how to minimize errors and how to address errors when they arise."