Amending Electricity Bills to include a new on-bill message to enhance transparency for customers
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998
Summary of Decision:
Regulatory amendments will require invoice issuers (e.g., Local Distribution Companies (LDCs) and Unit Sub-Meter Providers (USMPs)) to add a new message to electricity bills for certain electricity consumers, no later than January 1, 2021. The new on-bill message refers consumers to a Ministry web page which provides further information about electricity rate assistance programs, as well as how the Hydro One dividend contributes to the support they receive on their bill.
The on-bill message to be added to bills is: "Total Ontario support: $X. To learn more about the province's electricity support programs, visit Ontario.ca/yourelectricitybill."
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
ENDM consulted with stakeholders to ask what the cost of implementing this proposal would be. LDCs either responded that the cost was negligible - the regulatory proposal would simply add text to an existing on-bill message, and the billing system coding changes required to edit the language are expected to be minimal - or did not provide any cost estimates.
LDCs and USMPs were also able to request an exemption to delay the implementation of the new on-bill message provided they submitted a request to the Minister outlining the technical or operational reasons for the delay in complying with the regulatory requirements. This regulatory provision further reduced the potential cost impacts on LDCs and USMPs.
Based on information the Ministry received from stakeholders, it is presumed that the costs to implement the regulatory amendments are minimal.
September 4, 2020
Summary of Proposal:
The Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines (ENDM) proposes to launch a new dedicated web page in Fall 2020 to provide up-to-date information about electricity bills. This new web page will provide information on Ontario's rate mitigation programs and explain how consumers benefit from the Hydro One dividend, providing greater transparency to customers.
ENDM is proposing that Local Distribution Companies (LDCs) and Utility Sub-meter Providers (USMPs) be required to include a new on-bill message for certain electricity consumers. The message will direct customers to ENDM's new web page for further information about how the province provides financial support to electricity consumers. This change will require a regulatory amendment to O. Reg 275/04 under the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998. If approved, it is anticipated that this regulatory amendment would become effective on January 1, 2021 to provide time for LDCs and USMPs to make changes to their customer bills.
77 Grenville St., 6th Floor Toronto, ON M7A 2C1
November 6, 2020