Enabling more choice and competition in electricity suite metering
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
May include: Ontario Energy Board Act; Electricity Act; Energy Consumer Protection Act; Condominium Act; Residential Tenancies Act; Commercial Tenancies Act; Co-operative Corporations Act
Summary of Proposal:
The Ministry is seeking stakeholder views on the merits and implications of making it easier for the board of a condominium corporation (in the case of a condominium), the landlord (in the case of a rental apartment building) or other building owner/administrator to change the suite meter provider for their multi-unit building from an LDC (also known as "unit smart metering") to a USMP (also known as "unit sub-metering"), or vice-versa. Concerned stakeholders have expressed to the Ministry that changing from LDC suite metering to USMP suite metering may require the unanimous consent of the LDC accountholders in the building.
Stakeholders have further expressed to the Ministry that a decision to switch from USMP suite metering to LDC suite metering, or from one USMP to another USMP, does not necessarily require the consent of the utility account holders in the building and can often be made by the condominium board or by the landlord etc., as applicable. The Ministry is seeking further comments on this issue and the application of the relevant statutory and regulatory structure in practice to better understand if amendments to allow condominium corporations or landlords etc. to more easily change from LDC suite metering to USMP suite metering may be warranted.
Harmonizing the rules, if necessary, for switching between suite meter providers (i.e., by empowering condo boards/landlords etc. to make decisions on behalf of all the utility account holders in the building regardless of whether the current suite meter provider is an LDC or a USMP) could require amendments to multiple laws, potentially including but not limited to the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998 the Electricity Act, 1998 the Energy Consumer Protection Act, 2010 and O. Reg. 389/10 made under that act, the Condominium Act, 1998, the Co-operative Corporations Act, the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, and the Commercial Tenancies Act.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
This proposal is not expected to impose new administrative costs on regulated entities.
October 13, 2021
Comments Due Date:
November 29, 2021
77 Grenville St., 6th Floor, Toronto ON M7A 2C1
The Ministry of Energy received approximately 80 comments on this proposal from a range of stakeholders including USMPs, LDCs, condominium residents and board members, tenant advocacy groups, landlords, property management companies, and other members of the public.
Based on the feedback received, the Ministry is of the view that enhanced competition in the suite metering industry may lead to savings on electricity bills, but that it is also necessary to ensure consumers' interests are adequately protected.
The Ministry of Energy, together with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, intends to explore amendments that would make it easier for a multi-unit building to switch from unit metering through an LDC to unit sub-metering, if appropriate, as well as evaluate and strengthen the consumer and tenant protection regime for USMP-served customers.
The objective of this work will be to give more customers the opportunity to benefit from the cost-saving potential of switching providers, while retaining access to government support programs and an appropriate consumer and tenant protection framework.