Ontario Energy Board Accepts Assurance of Voluntary Compliance from Wyse Meter Solutions Inc.

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has accepted an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) from Wyse Meter Solutions Inc. (Wyse), an OEB-licensed unit sub-meter provider, following an inspection by the OEB into the company’s information disclosure and billing practices. In the AVC, Wyse has assured the OEB that it has made or will make changes to those practices to ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, and will pay an administrative penalty to the OEB of $65,000.

An AVC is a binding commitment by a regulated entity to take measures to rectify or prevent non-compliance.  Failure to abide by the terms of an AVC can lead to enforcement action being taken by the OEB.

The OEB’s inspection found that Wyse was not complying with certain requirements regarding the disclosure of information to customers. In particular, the company was (a) not disclosing its fees and charges with the first bill sent to a customer, as required by a regulation under the Energy Consumer Protection Act, 2010; (b) not disclosing all fees and charges in its contract with customers, as required by the OEB’s Unit-Sub Metering Code; and (c) not displaying all the information on customer bills (such as information about the customer’s historical consumption) that is required by a regulation under the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998.

Following the inspection, Wyse made changes to its bills and contracts to rectify these issues. Under the AVC, Wyse has undertaken to continue to ensure that its bills and contracts comply with all applicable disclosure requirements. The company has also undertaken to notify customers who became customers before the bills and contracts were brought into compliance of all applicable service charges.

The inspection also found that the manner in which Wyse was billing customers living in certain student housing buildings was not consistent with the requirement under the Energy Consumer Protection Act, 2010 to bill based on electricity consumption as measured by a meter. In these buildings, several students share a suite with only one electricity meter. On each student’s bill, Wyse would prorate the electricity consumption as measured by the suite’s meter, with the result that the amount of consumption shown on each student’s bill was not the amount that the student actually used in the period. Wyse has undertaken to make changes to its billing model for customers living in a shared suite to ensure compliance.

"The inspection and the Assurance of Voluntary Compliance reflect the OEB’s commitment to protect energy consumers, and result in positive outcomes for Wyse customers.

The changes to Wyse’s information disclosure and billing practices will improve transparency and make customers’ bills easier to understand."

 - Brian Hewson, Vice-President, Consumer Protection & Industry Performance


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