The Ontario Energy Board is an independent regulatory body that makes decisions and provides advice to the government in order to contribute to a sustainable, reliable energy sector and to help consumers get value from their natural gas and electricity services. We do this by:
- Establishing rates and prices that are reasonable to consumers and that allow utilities to invest in the system
- Encouraging higher performance from natural gas and electricity utilities and measuring progress
- Making the consumer’s own usage, and the broader energy issues, easier to understand
- Looking out for consumer interests, investigating complaints and applying penalties, where appropriate
- Thinking about the long-term needs of the energy sector and developing regulatory policy to meet emerging challenges.
The OEB supports and guides the continuing evolution of the Ontario energy sector by promoting outcomes and innovation that deliver value for all Ontario energy consumers.
We will pursue this Vision by:
- Strengthening the focus on demonstrable consumer value during a period of sector evolution
- Incenting and enabling innovation in a way that enhances consumer choice, control and value
- Strengthening and sustaining the confidence of consumers during a period of accelerating change
- Equipping our own organization to meet the challenges presented by sector evolution
Effective: We hold ourselves to a high standard regarding the quality and efficiency of our work.
Independent: We are objective and bring an open mind to all we do.
Engaged: We learn from our dialogue with consumers, utilities and other industry participants.
Expert: We are experts in our field and share our knowledge with others.
Forward-looking: We support innovative solutions both within our own organization and by those we regulate.
Respectful: We serve the public interest and treat everyone with respect.
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.