New Rules To Protect Energy Consumers
McGuinty Government Clamps Down On Unfair Practices By Energy Retailers
Ontario is protecting electricity and natural gas consumers with new rules that put an end to unfair practices by some energy retailers.
The new rules will help ensure that Ontarians receive accurate information from all energy retailers before they sign contracts. In the coming months the Ontario Energy Board will help educate Ontarians about these new rules that will require energy retailers to:
- Disclose how the contract price they are offering compares to the price offered by the local utility.
- Provide training programs to their staff to ensure they know, understand and abide by the new rules.
- Cancel a consumer's contract without penalty in a number of circumstances, and limit the cancellation fees that retailers can charge consumers.
Ontario is also ensuring that tenants are part of the decision process and informed about the rules when suite meters are installed in rental units. If a landlord chooses to install a suite meter, tenants will have the choice of paying for their electricity consumption separately from rent. If electricity is currently included in a tenant's rent, landlords must lower the rent if a tenant chooses to pay for their own electricity using a suite meter.
Before an existing tenant makes any decision regarding how they are charged for electricity, landlords will have to seek their informed consent, while also providing prospective tenants with information before rental agreements are signed.
- The new rules address the complaints that the Ontario Energy Board currently receives related to the practices of energy retailers such as not receiving a copy of the contract, improper procedures for reaffirmation calls, and poor business practices around renewals.
- These new rules will come into effect as of January 1st 2011.
- The new regulations for energy retailers will be posted at e-laws.gov.on.ca.
- Click here to read the legislation.
- Learn about other ways the government is protecting consumers.
- Get information on consumer protection and energy retailers from the Ontario Energy Board.
- Learn more about suite meters in rental units.
“We've heard from too many people who have felt strong-armed and deceived by a few bad-apple retailers, into signing long-term energy contracts. We are protecting Ontarians by ensuring they have all the necessary information to make informed decisions about their energy provider. From contracts, to price disclosure, to employee training - in 2011 all of Ontario's energy retailers will be following some of the toughest rules in Canada.”
Hon. Brad Duguid