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.