Service Quality Regulation Working Group

Case number

One of the objectives that the OEB must consider in carrying out its responsibilities with respect to regulatory oversight of the Ontario electricity industry is:

"3. To protect the interests of consumers with respect to prices and the reliability and quality of electricity service."

To monitor the reliability and quality of electricity distribution and to check that adequate service levels are maintained, the OEB adopted, as part of first-generation Performance-Based rate Regulation (PBR), a service quality regulatory regime whereby electricity distributors measure and report certain service quality and reliability indicators (SQIs). For most SQIs, the OEB approved initial minimum standards. The OEB determined that other aspects of service quality regulation, including remedial action and/or financial consequences of service degradation, should be considered, but that a proper assessment of these issues required experience with the measurement and reporting of the SQIs.

On October 28, 2002, the OEB advised stakeholders of the planned phased development of a second-generation PBR (PBR II) plan. A review of currently reported service quality indicators and associated standards, as well as consideration of other indicators and elements of service quality regulation, was identified as one of the components of PBR II plan development.

In accordance with the OEB’s directions in the Decision with Reason RP-1999-0034, Board staff formed a working group, with participation from the industry and other stakeholders, to consider service quality regulation (SQR). The OEB assigned file number RP-2003-0190 to this regulatory process.

Date Issue / Document
January 20, 2004

The OEB issued a letter informing electricity distributors that those distributors whose customers experienced interruptions due to the August 14, 2003 Blackout should exclude the impacts of the Blackout from the 2003 Reliability statistics reported in accordance with section 2.1.4 of the Reporting and Record Keeping Requirements.

September 15, 2003

Board staff have issued a discussion paper on Service Quality Regulation, to provide the industry and stakeholders with information on the theory, practice and issues of service quality regulation.

The discussion paper examines the current situation applicable to Ontario electricity distributors, as well as providing a review of how service quality regulation is applied in other jurisdictions and regulated network-based industries. The discussion paper does not draw conclusions, make recommendations or forestall consideration of options; it is intended to facilitate a more informed discussion of pertinent issues in the Working Group on Service Quality Regulation.

August 29, 2003

The OEB announced its plan to review Service Quality Regulation, as part of the phased development of second-generation PBR for electricity distribution, and invites participation in a working group conducted by Board staff. A preliminary list of issues is attached as an Appendix.