Ontario Energy Board accepts Assurance of Voluntary Compliance from Synergy North Corporation

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has accepted an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) from licensed electricity distributor Synergy North Corporation (Synergy North), which serves customers in Thunder Bay and Kenora.

Under the terms of this AVC, Synergy North acknowledges that a billing system error which persisted for several years resulted in a subset of customers across most rate classes being overcharged. Specifically, a portion of bills issued by Synergy North reflected an incorrect proration of OEB-approved fixed monthly charges. Synergy North implemented system changes to correct this issue effective May 17, 2023.

Under the terms of this AVC, Synergy North will contribute $20,276 to the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) to help customers in need in its service territory rather than providing a credit to customers. The amount is equivalent to four years of overcharges. The OEB accepted this approach in this case given that a four-year credit would be small, about $0.36 per residential customer, and that many of those affected by the billing system error are no longer customers of Synergy North. Synergy North will notify current customers of this AVC and of the contribution to LEAP in a form approved by the OEB.

Synergy North will also pay an administrative monetary penalty of $6,000.

Synergy North 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 Synergy North has fixed this billing issue.”

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

Additional Information and Resources

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.


Contact Us

Media Inquiries
Phone: 416-544-5171
Email: oebmedia@oeb.ca