Intervenor cost awards

The OEB engages regularly with consumers, industry, consumer advocacy groups and others in its decisions and consultation processes. The participation of consumers and stakeholders in our processes assists our Board members to make sound decisions in the public interest. We welcome this participation and anyone who wishes to actively participate in a proceeding can apply for intervenor status and may be eligible to have some of their costs covered. The award of funding to an intervenor is governed by the OEB’s Practice Direction on Cost Awards.

We post a detailed report of the funding awarded to intervenors each fiscal year in respect of their participation in OEB proceedings and consultations.

Reports

Date

Report

Aug 18, 2017

Oct 26, 2016

Apr 21, 2016

Sep 26, 2014

Aug 12, 2013

Jul 16, 2012

 

Frequently asked questions

  1. What are cost awards and why does the OEB award them? 
    Cost awards compensate eligible intervenors for time spent preparing for and participating in a proceeding, as well as reasonable costs for expenses associated with being a participant. Cost awards can be made available for both hearings and consultations.

    The purpose is to help those who have a substantial interest in a proceeding, such as ratepayer groups, to cover some of the costs of participation. 

  2. What is an intervenor?
    The term “intervenor” refers to a group or individual that has been allowed by the OEB to actively participate in a hearing.  Active participation can include not only attending the hearing, but also asking written or verbal questions and/or arguing for a particular result in a case. Those wishing to be intervenors in a hearing must satisfy the OEB that they have a substantial interest and intend to participate actively and responsibly in the proceeding.

    To see the mandate and objectives of frequent intervenors in our proceedings, as well as their membership and the constituency they represent, view the Annual Filings of Frequent Intervenors.

  3. What types of organizations are not eligible for cost awards?
    Not everyone is eligible for cost awards. Among those that are normally not eligible are:

  • Applicants;
  • Transmitters, wholesalers, generators, distributors and retailers of electricity - either individually or in a group;
  • Transmitters, distributors and marketers of natural gas, and gas storage companies, either individually or in a group;
  • The Independent Electricity System Operator; and
  • Federal, provincial and municipal governments and governmental organizations.

    A full list of organizations that are not eligible is provided in section 3.05 of the Practice Direction on Cost Awards.
  1. How does the OEB award costs? 
    The Practice Direction on Cost Awards sets out the process for how we determine (i) whether a participant is eligible for a cost award and (ii) how much a participant can recover through cost awards. A key consideration in deciding whether a participant’s costs should be reimbursed through cost awards is whether they participated responsibly and contributed to a better understanding by the OEB of issues in the proceeding. The Practice Direction includes a cost award tariff that establishes the maximum hourly rates that can be reimbursed through cost awards, as well as rules around which expenses are eligible for reimbursement.

    The OEB reviews cost claims thoroughly to ensure that they meet the OEB’s requirements.

  2. How is the OEB ensuring that its approach to interventions and cost awards is contributing to more efficient and effective proceedings?
    In 2014, the OEB made changes to its Rules of Practice and Procedure and its Practice Direction on Cost Awards to provide for greater transparency, clearer accountability and clearer expectations regarding the participation by intervenors in OEB proceedings.

  3. Why are the 2016-17 costs for intervenor participation higher than the costs for the 2015-16 period (~$5.1M vs. $4.1M)?
    The annual costs for intervenor participation vary from year to year depending on the number and type of proceedings that the OEB hears in any given year. The 2016-17 increase was mainly due to awarding costs this year for a large proceeding that was completed in 2015-16.