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 2019 regarding electricity utilities (by number of complaints)

Complaint Description Number of complaints
1. Disconnections Improper procedure followed, inadequate notice 176
2. Billing Errors, rates, equal billing 90
3. Customer Accounts Opening, closing accounts, security deposits, arrears payment agreements 36
4. Customer Service Utility failed to resolve the complaint, failed to contact customer 16
5. Meters Data collection, accuracy of the meter 13
 

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

Top 5 consumer complaints in 2019 regarding unit sub-meter providers (by number of complaints)

Complaint Description Number of complaints
1. Billing Errors, rates, timeliness of bill 77
2. Disconnections Improper procedure followed, inadequate notice 40
3. Customer Accounts Opening, closing accounts, security deposits, arrears payment agreements 19
4. Customer Service Service quality 9
5. Meters Data collection, accuracy of the meter 5
 

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 2019 regarding natural gas utilities (by number of complaints)

Complaint Description Number of complaints
1. Disconnections Improper procedure followed, inadequate notice 141
2. Billing Errors, rates, equal billing 47
3. Customer Accounts Opening, closing accounts, security deposits, arrears payment agreements 23
4. Customer Service Utility failed to resolve the complaint, failed to contact customer 19
5. Meters Data collection, accuracy of the meter 6
 

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 2019 not related to specific regulated companies (by number of enquiries)

Enquiry Description Number of enquiries
1. Low-income assistance programs Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) and Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) 1,025
2. Electricity rates Regulated price plan, electricity rates 636
3. OEB's role and decisions Mandate, hearing process, website, disagree with a decision, comments on an application 395
4. Requesting Info on regulated companies Retailer/marketers, electricity and gas distributors, unit sub-meter providers 272
5. Market participant enquiries Market participants include consultants and licensees 164
 

Top 5 consumer enquiries in 2019 regarding non-OEB regulated entities companies (by number of enquiries)

Enquiry Description Number of enquiries
1. Furnace / HVAC Ministry of Government and Consumer Services 137
2. Water heater rental and sales Ministry of Government and Consumer Services 135
3. Water, propane, oil and gasoline Water – Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Gasoline – The Competition Bureau (a federal agency)
108
4. Home protection / insurance plans Home protection – Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
Insurance – Financial Services Commission of Ontario
52
5. Third Party Billing Ministry of Government and Consumer Services 37
 

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 March 31, 2019. 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.