Description of proposed regulations under the Energy Consumer Protection Act, 2010 and Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998
Bill or Act:
Energy Consumer Protection Act, 2010 and Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998
Summary of Proposal:
The Energy Consumer Protection Act, 2010 (ECPA), received Royal Assent on May 18, 2010, but will not come into effect until the Act is proclaimed. The Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure is proposing draft regulations under the ECPA as well as under the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998 (OEBA).
Energy Retailer/Marketer draft Regulation
The retailer draft regulation would enhance the protection of Ontario energy consumers who choose to purchase their energy supply from private retailers. Key elements of this draft regulation would include:
Circumstances where energy consumers would have the ability to cancel their energy contracts without facing cancellation fees, including allowing consumers to cancel their electricity contracts without penalty up to 30 days after receiving their first bill;
Limiting cancellation fees to maximum flat annual fees for both electricity and natural gas contracts for residential consumers, and implementing volumetric caps for the cancellation of contracts for non-residential/commercial consumers;
In some circumstances, requiring that retailers make verification calls, 10 to 30 days after a text-based copy of the signed contract has been received by the consumer, to ensure that the consumer understands the terms of the contract and still wants to enter into the contract;
Placing restrictions on contract renewals, including limiting automatic renewals for natural gas contracts to month to month renewals, cancellable at any time without penalty;
Implementing rules surrounding entering into contracts, such as setting minimum standards for the content of contracts and requiring that t disclosure statements accompany contracts;
Requires minimum training and background standards for retail sales agents who will be interacting with consumers at their door; and
The continued authority of the Ontario Energy Board to implement the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP).
Suite Metering Regulation
The suite metering draft proposal under the ECPA, as well the OEBA, would create a framework for furthering conservation in multi-unit buildings in Ontario through the implementation of suite meters. This proposal would also support the implementation of suite meter provisions for residential rental buildings, through consequential amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006. Key elements of this draft proposal include:
Enabling the installation of suite meters in both residential rental and commercial buildings;
Requiring the installation of suite meters in new residential buildings (except in new social and subsidized affordable housing projects);
Enabling billing of consumers following suite meter installation;
Setting disclosure requirements, including ensuring that suite meter providers make available information required by landlords under the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006;
Disallowing metering of electric heat in residential rental buildings; and
Transitioning existing lawful suite meter arrangements and existing licenses of smart sub-meter providers into the new regime created by the ECPA.
July 2, 2010
Comments Due Date:
August 15, 2010
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