OEB COVID-19 Update

The OEB is taking a number of measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.                                                      

Updated May 14, 2020

We have implemented a temporary work-from-home protocol for employees to support the continuation of our work, including responding to consumer and industry inquiries.

Here’s what you need to know during this time:

For consumers:

  • Time-of-use pricing - Emergency Order extended
    The Government of Ontario issued an Emergency Order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. As a result, starting on March 24, 2020, residential and small business customers on time-of-use (TOU) pricing pay 10.1 ¢/kWh no matter what time of day the electricity is consumed. This means that TOU customers pay the off-peak price throughout the day as long as the Emergency Order remains in place. On May 6, 2020, the Government extended that rate relief until May 31, 2020

    The 10.1 ¢/kWh pricing applies automatically – no customer action is required. Some customers may receive a bill before their utility or unit sub-meter provider is able to implement the price change, in which case they will receive a credit on the following bill.
    For more information, read the Government’s news releases from March 24 and May 6, 2020, as well as our FAQs.
  • Electricity disconnection ban extended
    On March 19, 2020, the OEB extended the winter ban on electricity disconnections for non-payment for residential customers to July 31, 2020. Low-volume, small business customers will now also be protected by the ban. In addition, the OEB is calling on distributors to be more flexible on arrears payment arrangements. Read our Decision and Order.
  • Bill assistance programs
    There are programs available to help low-income consumers. Find out more at oeb.ca/billhelp. The government has also expanded LEAP by providing $9 million in new assistance to customers who are struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of COVID-19. The OEB is supporting the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines to determine program details. More information about the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) will be made available when those details have been determined.
  • Contact us
    • Our call centre remains open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
    • Within the Greater Toronto Area or from outside Ontario: 416-314-2455, or 1-877-632-2727 (toll-free within Ontario). 
    • We currently have fewer staff in the call centre, so consumers may experience longer wait times. We ask for your patience.
    • We can also be reached by email: ConsumerRelations@oeb.ca and chat. Start a chat now.

For industry:

  • Our Industry Relations enquiries system remains operational. 
    Send an email to IndustryRelations@oeb.ca. Learn more about what information you should provide to allow us to respond more quickly. As we’re working remotely, our responses may take a little longer. Thank you for your understanding.
  • We have temporarily waived the requirement to submit hard copies with each electronic filing in regulatory proceedings. We ask those who are engaged in active OEB proceedings to continue submitting electronic copies of documents through the online portal, RESS (Regulatory Electronic Submission System), or if you are unable to use the portal, by email at BoardSec@oeb.ca. This is in effect until further notice.
  • The OEB recognizes that there may be costs to distributors associated with implementing the Emergency Order regarding time-of-use pricing. Although it is not expected that these costs will be material, the OEB will allow distributors to track them, as well as any costs associated with the March 19, 2020 extension of the winter disconnection ban to July 31, 2020 and other costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, in a deferral account. The OEB understands that Ontario Power Generation Inc. (OPG) and electricity transmitters may also be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and confirms that the deferral account also applies to them. To learn more, visit our consultation webpage launched on May 14, 2020.
  • The OEB understands that, like other businesses, electricity distributors may be experiencing financial risks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the OEB is monitoring the financial situation of electricity distributors during the pandemic for any impact on reliability or continued service to consumers. To assist in gathering information, we have issued temporary reporting requirements to licensed electricity distributors. To learn more, see our letters from May 12 and May 20, 2020.
  • Licensees and gas distributors are normally required to complete their annual Reporting and Record-Keeping Requirements (RRR) filings by April 30, 2020. We have extended the filing deadline for annual RRR filings to June 1, 2020, recognizing that many licensees and gas distributors are dealing with important customer service and staffing matters related to COVID-19. This date will be reassessed should it be warranted by events related to the pandemic.
  • We have made a number of operational changes regarding the scheduling or format of events in ongoing proceedings and consultations, and those remain in effect. To learn more, see our March 12, 2020 letter to all regulated entities and other interested parties.
  • General enquiries about regulatory proceedings, case filings and submissions, as well as specific enquiries on any upcoming application filing deadlines, can be sent to: Registrar@oeb.ca.
  • Parties should contact the OEB staff lead for a given matter if they have any specific questions about currently scheduled deadlines on applications currently before the OEB.

We will update this information as needed if our protocols change as a result of evolving public health guidelines.