As Ontario's independent energy regulator, one of our jobs is to make sure that the licensed electricity and natural gas companies that we regulate follow the rules. We carry out this consumer protection role in a number of ways. We:
- monitor the energy companies that we regulate (for example, electricity and natural gas utilities, and energy retailers that sell energy under contract)
- help consumers work through issues they’re having with energy companies
- investigate when we think an energy company might have broken the rules
- take enforcement action where we find that an energy company has broken the rules
If we find that an energy company has broken the rules, there are a range of actions we can take like imposing a penalty/fine or forcing the company to comply. For companies we license, we can suspend that licence or take it away altogether. The steps for enforcing the rules are set out in legislation. We give the company a chance to present its side of the story before we make our final decision.
Find out who is not in compliance
In addition to enforcing compliance, we also publish information about energy companies that have not followed the rules. See Enforcement proceedings in our Industry section.
For more details, see a full description of our Compliance and Enforcement Process in our Industry section.
Stronger consumer protection rules
On January 1, 2017, new rules came into effect regarding energy contracts and how energy retailers deal with residential and small business consumers, including:
- An energy retailer cannot sign you up for an energy contract while they are at your home.
- There are limits on when, and how often, an energy retailer can market to you at your home.
- Energy contracts cannot be automatically renewed.
- Consumers can cancel energy contracts after two billing cycles without a financial penalty.
- All energy contracts now require verification, even if entered into over the internet. The energy retailer you signed up with cannot verify the contract; it must be verified by a third party.
If you think that an energy company that we license has broken a law or rule, we want to hear from you.