Under the terms of this AVC, Atikokan Hydro acknowledges that a billing system error which persisted for several years resulted in some customers being overcharged. Specifically, a portion of bills issued by Atikokan Hydro reflected an incorrect proration of OEB-approved fixed monthly charges. Atikokan Hydro implemented system changes to correct this issue effective May 23, 2023.
Under the terms of this AVC, Atikokan Hydro will contribute $557 to the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) to help customers in need in its service territory. The amount is equivalent to four years of overcharges. The OEB accepted this approach in this case, rather than requiring Atikokan Hydro to provide a credit to customers, given that a four-year credit would be small (about $0.25 per residential customer) and that some of those affected by the billing system error are no longer customers of Atikokan Hydro. Atikokan Hydro will notify current customers of this AVC and of the contribution to LEAP in a form approved by the OEB.
Atikokan Hydro will also pay an administrative monetary penalty of $750.
Atikokan Hydro self-reported the issue to the OEB in March 2023 after seeing that another distributor had provided an AVC to the OEB in respect of a similar proration error.
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.
“All licensed electricity distributors must be rigorous in applying OEB-approved rates and calculating accurate billing amounts for their customers. Billing accuracy is foundational to customer trust and the OEB is assured that Atikokan Hydro has fixed this billing issue.”
– Brian Hewson, Vice-President, Consumer Protection & Industry Performance
Additional Information and Resources
- Read the Assurance of Voluntary Compliance - EB-2023-0176
- Learn about the OEB’s Compliance and Enforcement Process
About the Ontario Energy Board
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.