Ontario Energy Board accepts Assurance of Voluntary Compliance from Sioux Lookout Hydro Inc.

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has accepted an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) from licensed electricity distributor Sioux Lookout Hydro Inc. (Sioux Lookout Hydro), which serves about 2,900 customers in the Municipality of Sioux Lookout.

Under the terms of this AVC, Sioux Lookout Hydro acknowledges that a billing system error which persisted for several years resulted in some customers being overcharged. A portion of bills issued by Sioux Lookout Hydro reflected an incorrect proration of OEB-approved fixed monthly charges. Sioux Lookout Hydro implemented system changes to correct this issue effective May 17, 2023.

Under the terms of this AVC, Sioux Lookout Hydro will contribute $1,162 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 Sioux Lookout Hydro to provide a credit to customers, given that a four-year credit would be small (about $0.40 per residential customer) and that some of those affected by the billing system error are no longer customers of Sioux Lookout Hydro. Sioux Lookout Hydro will notify current customers of this AVC and of the contribution to LEAP in a form approved by the OEB.

Sioux Lookout Hydro will also pay an administrative monetary penalty of $750.   

Sioux Lookout 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 Sioux Lookout Hydro has fixed this billing issue.”

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

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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.


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