Consumer complaints about energy companies

If you have a concern or issue you can make a complaint about an energy retailer (also known as electricity retailer or natural gas marketer), or your electricity or natural gas utility. When you speak, it’s our job to listen.

The following are charts showing the complaints that customers have filed with us.

 
 
 

Top 5 consumer complaints in 2020 regarding electricity utilities (by number of complaints)

Complaint Description Number of complaints
1. Billing Errors, rates, equal billing 131
2. Disconnections Improper procedure followed, inadequate notice 50
3. Meters Data collection, accuracy of the meter 26
4. Customer Service Utility failed to resolve the complaint, failed to contact customer 25
5. Customer Accounts Opening, closing accounts, security deposits, arrears payment agreements 16
 

Note: These numbers are not an indication of whether or not electricity utilities were following the rules and regulations.

Top 5 consumer complaints in 2020 regarding unit sub-meter providers (by number of complaints)

Complaint Description Number of complaints
1. Billing Errors, rates, timeliness of bill 105
2. Disconnections Improper procedure followed, inadequate notice 17
3. Meters Data collection, accuracy of the meter 9
4. Security Deposits Amount of security deposit, payment of deposit, security deposit conditions 9
5. Customer Service Utility failed to resolve the complaint, failed to contact the customer 6
 

Note: These numbers are not an indication of whether or not unit sub-meter providers were following the rules and regulations.

Top 5 consumer complaints in 2020 regarding natural gas utilities (by number of complaints)

Complaint Description Number of complaints
1. Billing Errors, rates, equal billing 82
2. Disconnections Improper procedure followed, inadequate notice 43
3. Customer Service Utility failed to resolve the complaint, failed to contact the customer 15
4. Load Connections Cost of connecting, refusal to connect or continue to connect 12
5. Meters Data collection, accuracy of the meter 9
 

Note: These numbers are not an indication of whether or not natural gas utilities were following the rules and regulations.

Top 5 consumer enquiries in 2020 not related to specific regulated companies (by number of enquiries)

Enquiry Description Number of enquiries
1. Electricity rates Regulated price plan, electricity rates 2,139
2. Low-income assistance programs Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) and Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) 1,089
3. OEB's role and decisions Mandate, hearing process, website, disagree with a decision, comments on an application 385
4. Targeted scam Claiming to be OEB, claiming affliliation with a government program 324
5. COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program General information, how to apply, disagree with program, application denied 176
 

Top 5 consumer enquiries in 2020 regarding non-OEB regulated entities companies (by number of enquiries)

Enquiry Description Number of enquiries
1. Water heater rental and sales Ministry of Government and Consumer Services 127
2. Energy audits Audits by home services provider - Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
Audits concerning incentives and qualifying for same - Save On Energy, part of the IESO
114
3. Water, propane, oil and gasoline Water – Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Gasoline – The Competition Bureau (a federal agency)
113
4. Furnace / HVAC Ministry of Government and Consumer Services 106
5. Home protection / insurance plans Home protection – Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
Insurance – Financial Services Commission of Ontario
32
 

The following scorecard shows how each retailer’s rate of complaints compares with the average for the whole sector. These are complaints that consumers have filed with us about active* retailers. We measure this per 1,000 contracts so that large and small companies can be compared against each other.

The following scorecard shows the number of complaints consumers have filed with us about active* retailers over the past 12 months ending December 31, 2020. Complaints are grouped into categories** that reflect the different stages of the contract process.

* Active means the company has signed at least one new contract, or renewed at least one, in the past nine months.
 
** Category definitions:

'Sign up process' includes issues concerning:
  • whether the salesperson followed the rules for door-to-door marketing and advertising – e.g. they are not allowed to sign up a consumer at the door or leave a contract behind
  • how the salesperson handled the sales call – whether they properly identified themselves; whether the consumer was given the required documents (OEB disclosure statement and price comparison) to help them make an informed decision
  • whether the retailer followed the rules for internet marketing
  • whether the verification stage of the process was carried out properly
'Management of contract during life of the contract' includes issues concerning:
  • whether a consumer was aware they were signed up
  • whether the consumer is paying the rate agreed to in the contract
  • whether the retailer followed the rules for cancelling a contract – e.g. if a consumer was allowed to cancel; if cancellation charges were unfairly applied
  • whether the retailer applied the correct cancellation rules and charges that were in effect when the contract was signed – e.g. the ECPA rules are different for contracts signed before 2011, between 2011-2016 and starting in 2017
  • how a consumer felt their complaint was handled or if the retailer didn’t respond to the consumer
'Renewal process' includes issues concerning:
  • whether the retailer followed the rules for renewing a contract – e.g. if the contract was renewed without the consumer’s consent or if the consumer was properly notified according to the timelines set out in the rules
Make a complaint

We want to hear from you if you’ve got a complaint about an energy company that we license.