We are Ontario’s independent energy regulator. Regulation is critical because it sets out the rules that energy companies must follow and makes sure those rules are applied fairly and consistently. As well, many companies within Ontario’s energy system operate as monopolies. In the absence of competition, regulation ensures that the public good is served. Ultimately, we are striving to have an energy system that meets Ontario’s needs for today and tomorrow.
Natural monopolies and regulation
Many industries in Canada are subject to some form of regulation governing what they can and cannot do. Energy utilities are more closely regulated than many other industries because of the unique characteristics surrounding energy supply and delivery.
Unlike many other industries in which there are numerous companies competing to sell the same product or service, electricity and natural gas distribution and transmission are considered to be natural monopolies.
Regulation is a way to address the natural monopoly position of energy utilities. The laws, rules and requirements that the Ontario Energy Board enforces act as a substitute for the economic forces that would provide the checks and balances if these utilities operated in a competitive market. In this way, regulation protects the interests of consumers.
Do you have any of the following questions about utility rates and prices?
- How are electricity and natural gas rates set?
- What do the items on my utility bill mean?
- How can I lower my bill?