End of Winter Disconnection Ban

The annual winter disconnection ban for residential customers ends on April 30, 2024. Customers who have fallen behind on bill payments may have already received a Reminder or Disconnection notice to take effect on or after May 1. 

Here are some important things customers should know: 

  • Distributors must follow a step-by-step process before disconnecting electricity or natural gas customers for non-payment, including sending Reminder and Disconnection notices before disconnecting.
  • Upon receiving a notice, it is vital that customers contact their electricity or natural gas distributor as soon as possible. The best way to avoid disconnection is to stay in contact with the distributor and make payment arrangements.
  • If service is disconnected, the distributor is allowed to charge a reconnection fee to turn the service back on and must offer reasonable payment arrangements if the customer is unable to pay this fee. Eligible low-income customers do not have to pay the reconnection fee. 
  • Once the bill is paid in full or a payment arrangement is reached, the distributor should reconnect service within two business days.
  • Remember:  While electricity and natural gas distributors cannot disconnect residential customers for non-payment between November 15 and April 30 of each year, bill balances continue to accumulate during that period, including interest on any amounts owing.
  • The OEB’s winter disconnection ban does not apply to multi-unit buildings serviced by Unit Sub-meter Provider (USMPs), although some may voluntarily comply. In the case of USMPs that do not voluntarily comply with the disconnection ban, it is the master consumer who makes the decisions on disconnection for non-payment. The disconnection is carried out by the USMP on behalf of the master consumer.
  • Beware of anyone claiming to represent a distributor and threatening immediate disconnection. This could be a scam. The distributor is not allowed to disconnect service without first giving notice, and they do not accept payment through gift cards or bitcoin. 
    Always know who you’re dealing with. If you have any questions or concerns, reach out to your distributor directly, using the contact information on your utility bill.

Billing Assistance Programs

Now even more Ontarians qualify for assistance with their energy bills. 

  • As of March 1, 2024, the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) also increased the income eligibility amounts, meaning that more Ontarians may be eligible to receive support in the form of an ongoing monthly credit directly to their electricity bill. 
    Customers can visit oesp.ca see if they qualify.
    There is no cost to apply for these programs and a home inspection is not required.

To learn more about all of the programs available to help energy customers, please visit oeb.ca/billhelp

Additional Resources:

  • OEB's electricity customer service rules, including details of the connection process, go here.

  • OEB's Natural gas customer service rules, including details of the disconnection process, go here.

  • Customers who want to protect themselves against energy scams, visit oeb.ca/scams.

  • Learn more about how Ontario is keeping electricity costs down for families here.