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 2015 regarding electricity utilities (by number of complaints)

Complaint Description Number of complaints
1. Disconnections Improper procedure followed, inadequate notice 364
2. Billing Errors, rates, equal billing 324
3. Customer Accounts Opening, closing accounts, security deposits, arrears payment agreements 88
4. Meters Data collection, accuracy of the meter 61
5. Customer Service Utility failed to resolve the complaint, failed to contact customer 53
 

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

Top 5 consumer complaints in 2015 regarding unit sub-meter providers (by number of complaints)

Complaint Description Number of complaints
1. Billing Errors, rates, timeliness of bill 53
2. Disconnections Improper procedure followed, inadequate notice 18
3. Customer accounts Opening, closing accounts, security deposits, arrears payment agreements 9
4. Meters Data collection 6
5. Customer service Service quality 2
 

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 2015 regarding natural gas utilities (by number of complaints)

Complaint Description Number of complaints
1. Disconnections Improper procedure followed, inadequate notice 119
2. Billing Errors, rates, equal billing 70
3. Customer accounts Opening, closing accounts, security deposits, arrears payment agreements 28
4. Customer service Utility failed to resolve the complaint, failed to contact customer 24
5. Meters Data collection, accuracy of the meter 15
 

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 2015 not related to specific regulated companies (by number of enquiries)

Enquiry Description Number of complaints
1. Low-income assistance programs Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) and Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) 1,160
2. OEB's role and decisions Mandate, hearing process, website, disagree with a decision, comments on an application 757
3. Electricity rates Regulated price plan, electricity rates, global adjustment, other charges 688
4. Requesting Info on regulated companies Retailer/marketers, electricity and gas distributors, unit sub-meter providers 495
5. Energy legislation and programs Green Energy Act, Conservation Bureau, Microfit, energy audits, carbon credits/offsets 231
 

Top 5 consumer enquiries in 2015 regarding non-OEB regulated entities companies (by number of enquiries)

Enquiry Description Number of complaints
1. Furnace Ministry of Government and Consumer Services 339
2. Water heater rental and sales Ministry of Government and Consumer Services 175
3. HVAC Ministry of Government and Consumer Services 90
4. Home protection / insurance plans Home protection – Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
Insurance – Financial Services Commission of Ontario
64
5. Water and gasoline Water – Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
Gasoline – The Competition Bureau – a federal agency
40
 

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, 2018. 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. You can submit your complaint online, now.