New Protections for Energy Consumers
McGuinty Government Passes Legislation To Ensure Fair Energy Retailer Practices
The Ontario Legislature passed legislation yesterday that will pave the way towards additional protection for energy consumers while allowing for greater energy conservation through suite metering.
Once in force, the legislation will lead to new rules and regulations which:
- Protect consumers from hidden costs, excessive cancellation fees and other unfair industry practices.
- Provide greater fairness and transparency for consumers through rate comparisons, plain language disclosure available in multiple languages, enhanced rights to cancel contracts and new rules for energy retailers and their employees.
- Enable individual suite metering in apartment buildings, to give tenants more control over energy costs.
Most of the new rules are expected to come into effect January 1, 2011. Until new regulations are in force, energy consumers are encouraged to be familiar with the protection offered under existing rules.
- The legislation has been sent to the province's Lieutenant Governor for Royal Assent.
- A suite meter lets tenants pay for their electricity based on their actual consumption. This means consumers could lower their electricity bills by conserving or shifting their usage.
- In the past three years, energy retailers have cracked the top 10 list of consumer complaints received by the Ministry of Consumer Services.
- Currently, the Ontario Energy Board logs between 100 and 150 consumer complaints a week about the practices of energy retailers.
“This is part of our government's commitment to enhance protections for Ontario consumers. Establishing rules for fair market practices will mean Ontarians can make informed energy choices.”
“New rules will ensure that Ontario tenants benefit from energy conservation and are treated fairly in the way suite metering is put in place by landlords.”
Hon. James Bradley
“This legislation builds on the strong protections Ontario consumers already enjoy and extends them even further.”
Hon. Sophia Aggelonitis