Consumers encouraged to have their say on Phase 2 of Customer Service Rules Review

Has a utility ever made a mistake on the amount of your energy bill? Should energy utilities be allowed to charge you for transferring your account to your spouse? If you open a new account with an energy utility, but owe that utility money from a previous account, what should the utility do?

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has launched an online survey to gather input from residential and small business consumers on these and other questions as part of Phase 2 of its review of customer service rules. The survey is available at www.oeb.ca/customerservicesurvey.

What This Means For Ontario Energy Consumers

  • The OEB is asking for feedback on customer service rules related to billing errors and the opening and closing of accounts, as well as service charges related to the management of customer accounts.
  • The OEB has had detailed customer service rules in place for electricity distributors since 2011, and unit sub-meter providers are also required to follow many of these rules. Rate-regulated natural gas distributors were required to publish their residential customer service policies in 2012, covering at a minimum the major areas addressed by the electricity sector rules.
  • The OEB is also engaging energy utilities, consumer representatives and other interested stakeholders as part of the review.

The survey is part of a comprehensive review of customer service rules that the OEB launched in May 2017. In Phase 1 of the review, the OEB examined and issued a report on customer service rules on disconnections, bill payment dates and security deposits, among others. The OEB is now moving forward with proposed changes related to these and other areas, a process that it expects to complete in the coming months. More information on Phase 1 can be found at www.oeb.ca/policy.

Quotes

“We encourage consumers to share their views to help us ensure that the customer service rules maintain the right balance between consumer protection and the operational needs of energy utilities. This is your opportunity to have your say.” – Brian Hewson, Vice President, Consumer Protection & Industry Performance.

Additional Information and Resources