Electricity Act, 1998: Proposed Amendments to O. Reg. 493/01 (Debt Retirement Charge - Rates and Exemptions)
O. Reg. 493/01
O. Reg. 494/01
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Electricity Act, 1998; Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998
Summary of Decision:
Responding to comments received as a result of the posting, changes were made with respect to the effective date of the exemption when a notice is received on or after January 1, 2016.
The amendments to O. Reg. 493/01 (Debt Retirement Charge - Rates and Exemptions) and the consequential amendments to O. Reg. 494/01 (Debt Retirement Charge - Administration), both under the Electricity Act, 1998, were filed with the Registrar of Regulations on June 18, 2015.
March 27, 2015
Summary of Proposal:
The Debt Retirement Charge (DRC) is to be removed from residential users' electricity bills after December 31, 2015.
The DRC, which is calculated based on electricity consumption, has been charged since May 1, 2002, to help service and pay down the debt and other liabilities of the former Ontario Hydro after it was broken up into smaller entities.
The DRC would remain on all other electricity users' bills, including commercial and industrial users, until the residual stranded debt is retired. This is currently estimated to occur by the end of 2018, consistent with the estimate published in the 2014 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review.
To implement the DRC exemption for residential users, the Ministry of Finance is proposing to amend O. Reg. 493/01 (Debt Retirement Charge - Rates and Exemptions) under the Electricity Act, 1998 to do the following:
• Exempt all accounts in a distributor's residential-rate class from the DRC.
• If an account is not in a distributor's residential-rate class, exempt accounts that provide electricity to at least one "eligible residential unit", to a maximum of 1,500 kWh per month per "eligible residential unit".
• Require users with accounts that are not in a distributor's residential-rate class to give notice to the distributor, setting out the number of eligible residential units and acknowledging that it is an offence to make a false or deceptive statement.
See link below for the draft text of the amendments to O. Reg. 493/01(Debt Retirement Charge - Rates and Exemptions). The draft amendments are only available in English.
To support the administration and enforcement of the exemption, consequential amendments would be made to O. Reg. 494/01 (Debt Retirement Charge - Administration) under the Electricity Act, 1998. The Ministry of Energy is also proposing to bring forward consequential regulatory amendments related to billing, under the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998.
Ministry of Finance
Taxation Policy Division
Corporate and Commodity Taxation Branch
95 Grosvenor Street 2nd floor
Toronto, ON M7A 1Y8
June 18, 2015