Regulatory Amendments to O. Reg. 275/04 (Information on Invoices to Low-Volume Consumers of Electricity) ("Billing Regulation") made under the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998, to prescribe changes to electricity invoices related to the proposed exemption from the Debt Retirement Charge ("DRC"), and related to the proposed Ontario Electricity Support Program ("OESP") credit.
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Electricity Act, 1998
Summary of Decision:
The amendments to O. Reg. 275/04 (Information on Invoices to Certain Classes of Consumers of Electricity), under the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998, were filed with the Registrar of Regulations on June 19, 2015.
Responding to comments received as a result of the posting, changes were made to enable the Minister of Energy to build in compliance flexibility when providing messaging on the DRC exemption or the OESP.
April 23, 2015
Summary of Proposal:
Debt Retirement Charge Exemption
As announced in the 2014 Ontario Budget, the government is proposing to remove the DRC cost from residential electricity users' electricity bills after December 31, 2015. To implement this exemption, the Ministry of Finance is proposing to amend O.Reg. 493/01 (Debt Retirement Charge-Rates and Exemptions) under the Electricity Act, 1998 (see posting 15-MOF008 on this Registry ("MoF Posting")). See also the related posting 15-ENE004 by the Ministry of Energy to address the proposed flow-through of the applicable DRC exemption to certain consumers in sub-metered multi-unit complexes ("SMP Complexes").
To reflect the proposed DRC exemption on electricity invoices, the Ministry of Energy is proposing to amend the Billing Regulation to establish new requirements on invoices for electricity consumed on or after January 1, 2016. Invoices would be required to show the following under the sub-heading "Debt Retirement Charge":
-For consumers in an electricity distributor's "residential-rate" class ("RRC Consumers"), invoices would show that the amount of the DRC was zero.
-For consumers with eligible residential units (described in the MoF Posting) located in SMP Complexes ("SMP Consumers"), invoices would show the actual amount of the DRC (net of the allocated DRC exemption) invoiced to the SMP Consumer for the period covered by the invoice.
-For accounts for bulk-metered multi-unit complexes (other than RRC Consumer accounts) that have at least one eligible residential unit ("Bulk-metered Customer"), invoices would show the actual amount of the DRC (net of the applicable DRC exemption) payable by the Bulk-metered Customer for the period covered by the invoice.
Invoices would also be required to include a DRC information message which:
-For RRC Consumers, specifies the DRC amount that would have been payable but for the DRC exemption.
-For SMP Consumers, specifies the DRC amount (or portion of the DRC amount) that would have been invoiced but for the DRC exemption, and explains how DRC payments are calculated for SMP Consumers, and
-For Bulk-metered Customer, specifies the DRC amount that would have been payable but for the DRC exemption, and explains how the DRC exemption amount was calculated.
The information message would also be required to include a website address where customers can get additional information.
Ontario Electricity Support Program
Ontario is helping make electricity more affordable by introducing the OESP for low-income families. The proposed OESP, which would be implemented by the Ontario Energy Board, would come into effect on January 1, 2016 and provide support to eligible low-income Ontarians directly on their electricity invoices.
Invoices to OESP Recipients would be required to include, on the face of the invoice, a separate line for the OESP that states the program name and shows the credit amount for which the recipient qualifies.
Also, these invoices may be required to include information on the recipient's eligibility period, including a notice reminding OESP recipients to renew their eligibility prior to expiry. All invoices (whether or not to an OESP Recipient) may also be required to provide information on the OESP, and how to apply for the program. Subsection 4(2) of the Billing Regulation would also be amended as needed to ensure the charge related to the funding of the OESP is included within the Regulatory Charges category on the invoice.
77 Grenville Street
January 1, 2016