Ontario Energy Board accepts Assurance of Voluntary Compliance from ONIT Energy Ltd.

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has accepted an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) from ONIT Energy Ltd. (ONIT Energy), a licensed energy retailer that operates in Ontario under the trade name Ontario Wholesale Energy, following an inspection into customers that were entered into electricity retail contracts or supplied natural gas without valid customer authorization.

Under the terms of the AVC, ONIT Energy will pay an administrative monetary penalty of $15,000 and has provided a refund to affected customers.

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 inspection determined that two independent sales brokers acting on behalf of ONIT Energy entered into electricity retail contracts with four condominium corporations from August 2018 to March 2019 without customer authorization, which was a breach of certain provisions of the OEB’s Electricity Retailer Code of Conduct and Retail Settlement Code. The inspection also found that, during the same period, ONIT Energy had been supplying natural gas to three condominium corporations under contract without customer authorization.

In May 2019, ONIT Energy cancelled all of the contracts in question promptly after customers brought the matter to its attention. In July 2019, the six affected customers filed complaints with the OEB, and OEB staff undertook a formal inspection of ONIT Energy’s actions in relation to their contracts.

ONIT Energy acknowledges that the two independent sales brokers acting on its behalf did not obtain valid customer authorization to enrol and charge the affected customers for electricity or to supply them with natural gas. Further to its commitment under the AVC, ONIT Energy has provided a refund to each of the six affected customers for the difference between the contract price and the price charged by their electricity or natural gas utility, plus interest.

“ONIT Energy understands that it is ultimately responsible for the actions of its representatives. Through the AVC, it has assured the OEB that it has taken all appropriate measures to ensure that its processes for signing up customers and for dealing with unauthorized enrolments comply with all of ONIT Energy’s legal and regulatory obligations. Consumers who have concerns about energy contracts are encouraged to contact us.”
– Brian Hewson, Vice-President, Consumer Protection & Industry Performance


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