Ontario Energy Board accepts Assurance of Voluntary Compliance from E.L.K. Energy Inc.

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has accepted an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) from E.L.K. Energy Inc. (E.L.K. Energy), a licensed electricity distributor serving the Towns of Essex, Lakeshore and Kingsville, following an inspection into E.L.K. Energy’s record-keeping. Under the terms of the AVC, E.L.K. Energy will pay an administrative monetary penalty of $5,000.

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 Distribution System Code (DSC) requires licensed electricity distributors to carry out regular inspections of their assets and maintain records of those inspections as well as any corrective actions taken. Through these requirements, distributors demonstrate that they are maintaining their systems so that their customers can expect to receive reliable electricity service in both the short and long term.

In its last major rate proceeding, E.L.K. Energy agreed to undertake an independent assessment of the condition of its distribution assets. That assessment indicated that E.L.K. Energy did not have records of past inspection activities. The OEB launched an inspection in March 2021, and found that E.L.K. Energy did not maintain records of its asset inspection activities as required by the DSC, and was therefore unable to provide evidence that it regularly inspects its assets as required. E.L.K. Energy acknowledged that it failed to comply with the DSC.

To address the OEB’s findings, E.L.K. Energy has taken numerous steps to improve its asset management practices. Through the AVC, it has also assured the OEB that inspection activities of its distribution system are compliant with all of its regulatory obligations.

“All licensed electricity distributors are required to keep records of inspections of their assets, such as their distribution poles and substations. This ensures that distributors are aware of the state of their assets to ensure reliable electricity service to customers.”

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

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The OEB is the independent regulator of Ontario’s electricity and natural gas sectors. It protects the interests of consumers and supports the collective advancement of the people of Ontario. Its goal is to deliver public value through prudent regulation and independent adjudicative decision-making which contributes to Ontario’s economic, social and environmental development.

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