The OEB’s mandate is to regulate Ontario’s energy sector as required under provincial legislation. We have regulated the natural gas sector since 1960 and the electricity sector since 1999. As a government agency, the OEB is financially responsible and acts in the public interest. In moving forward on our path to modernization, we will be transparent and accountable. We will deliver public value and we will be responsive to the changing needs of Ontario’s economy and those we regulate. We will never lose sight of the individual rate payers, the consumers, the people of Ontario.
Our objectives, responsibilities and powers are set out in legislation, regulations and directives including Bill 87, which changed the governance of the OEB, but our mandate remains:
For industry, we:
- Set the delivery rates that electricity and natural gas utilities can charge. Monitor the financial and operational performance of utilities.
- Approve major new electricity transmission lines and natural gas pipelines that serve the public interest.
- Approve mergers, acquisitions and dispositions by electricity and natural gas utilities.
- Set the payments to Ontario Power Generation for electricity generated by its regulated nuclear and hydroelectric generation facilities.
- Establish and enforce codes and rules to govern the conduct of utilities and other industry participants.
- License entities in the electricity sector and natural gas marketers.
For consumers, we:
- Protect the interests of consumers by setting the rates and prices that utilities can charge.
- Provide the information consumers need to better understand the rules that protect them and their responsibilities.
- Protect their interests in retail electricity and natural gas markets.
- Address the particular needs of low-income consumers through the establishment and oversight of utility customer service rules and delivering financial assistance programs.
To be a trusted regulator who is recognized for enabling Ontario’s growing economy and improving the quality of life for the people of this province who deserve safe, reliable and affordable energy.
To deliver public value through prudent regulation and independent adjudicative decision- making which contributes to Ontario’s economic, social and environmental development.
To oversee the provincial energy markets, protect the interests of individuals and supports the collective advancement of the people of Ontario.
- Accountable: We hold ourselves accountable to the public we serve through integrity of governance, clarity of process and independence of decision-making.
- Transparent: We are transparent in setting objectives, measuring outcomes and reporting on our performance to our stakeholders and the public.
- Driven: We are driven to do the right things, work hard and deliver value for the people of Ontario and the evolving energy sector which we regulate.
- Thoughtful: We approach each day thoughtfully and ensure prudent stewardship of one of the most complex and productive energy sectors in the world.
Legislation - what laws guide our actions?
Our mandate and authority come from the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998, the Electricity Act, 1998, and a number of other provincial statutes including: the Energy Consumer Protection Act, 2010, the Municipal Franchises Act, the Oil, Gas and Salt Resources Act, the Assessment Act, and the Toronto District Heating Corporation Act.
The following table includes a description of the powers we hold or the duties we perform under some of these statutes.
Acts and Regulations
|Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998||The Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998, outlines the mandate of the Ontario Energy Board with respect to electricity and natural gas regulation.|
|Electricity Act, 1998||
The Electricity Act, 1998, outlines the framework for Ontario's competitive electricity marketplace.
|Energy Consumer Protection Act, 2010||The Energy Consumer Protection Act, 2010, outlines the rules regarding energy contracts and how energy retailers (also called electricity retailers and natural gas marketers) deal with residential and small business consumers.|
|The Municipal Franchises Act provides for the granting of a franchise to a natural gas distributor to provide natural gas service within a municipality.|
The Ontario Energy Board's processes are generally governed by the Statutory Powers Procedure Act.
What does our mandate mean for you?
It means we make rules that energy companies must live by. It means we can take action if they break our rules or the laws that we enforce, like applying penalties. It means we monitor how they perform and how they treat you to be sure it’s legal. It means we listen if you make a complaint about them and act upon what we hear, if an issue needs to be resolved. And lastly, it means that we think about the long-term needs of our energy sector and develop regulatory policy to meet those needs and emerging challenges.
What does our mandate mean for Ontario’s energy sector?
We develop policies that directly affect Ontario’s energy industry, through activities including:
- Stakeholder working groups
- Public consultations
- Research and a review of practices in other provinces or countries
We engage in these ways in order to listen and learn. We want to be as informed as we can be, in order to make policies that provide the best solutions for Ontarians and the energy sector, for today and tomorrow.
Regulation and the public interest
As Ontario’s independent energy regulator, we look to align the interests of energy utilities with consumers’ interests.
Consumers are well served if pricing and the standard of service they receive from their energy utilities are fair and reasonable. Energy utilities are well served if they are viable businesses that can sustain the investment needed to deliver reliable service over the long term. This is what we mean when we say our goal is to ensure Ontario’s energy sector is in the public interest, for today and tomorrow.