As Ontario’s independent energy regulator, we develop policy that contributes to a sustainable and reliable energy sector and protects consumers. The Minister of Energy also calls on us to implement special requirements – called directives – and to provide expert and impartial advice on important policy initiatives.
How we develop new policies
When we develop new policies, we engage energy companies, energy-related agencies, public interest groups and consumers. Some of our practices include:
- Stakeholder meetings and working groups
- Public consultations and meetings with Indigenous Communities
- Review of practices in other provinces or countries
Types of policies we work on
We use our expertise to develop regulatory policy on issues affecting Ontario’s energy sector. Here are some of the energy policies we are involved in:
- Handling consumer complaints
We are introducing requirements that regulated entities such as electricity and natural gas utilities must follow when addressing a consumer complaint that has been forwarded to them by the Ontario Energy Board.
- Cap and trade program
We have developed the regulatory framework to support Ontario’s new cap and trade program. This program started on January 1, 2017. It requires natural gas utilities to develop plans to take steps that will support the government's policy of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Our framework also deals with how natural gas utilities will recover the cost of meeting those obligations from their customers.
- Regulated price plan roadmap
We are in the process of implementing a five-point plan to redesign electricity prices. The goal is to improve system efficiency and give consumers new tools to help them better manage their electricity usage. We are introducing the plan in stages to allow electricity consumers time to understand and adapt to any changes to time-of-use rates.
- Cyber-security and privacy
We are engaging key industry stakeholders to develop industry standards and best practices that will help to protect personal information and the reliable operation of smart electricity grids in Ontario. Our goal is to mitigate the risk of unauthorized access to business and operating systems that could result from the increased use of automation, electronic communications and data flows.