The Ontario Energy Board is responsible for monitoring how well the electricity market is working. We issue reports to the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines on the efficiency, fairness, transparency and competitiveness of the market. We also report on any abuse or potential abuse of market power where requested to do so by the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines.
Market Surveillance Panel
The Market Surveillance Panel monitors, investigates and reports on activities and behaviour in the IESO-administered markets in Ontario's electricity sector. IESO stands for Independent Electricity System Operator.
The Panel’s specific responsibilities include:
- Monitoring activities and behaviour and recommending remedial action
- Investigating market activities and the behaviour of specific energy companies or energy-related agencies (for example, if they are suspected of gaming or abusing their market power) and making recommendations related to the results of its investigations
- Reporting on the results of its monitoring and investigations
Transfer from the IESO to the Ontario Energy Board
Under the Electricity Restructuring Act, 2004, the Market Surveillance Panel transferred to the Ontario Energy Board from the IESO, effective January 1, 2005.
Section 4.3.1 of the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998 provides the statutory basis for the continuation of the Market Surveillance Panel, while Section 37 of the Electricity Act, 1998, establishes the Panel’s statutory powers of investigation. The mandate of the Panel is set out in Ontario Energy Board Bylaw #3 (pdf), which was most recently amended by By-law #5 (pdf).
The Ontario Energy Board and the IESO Protocol
The Ontario Energy Board and the IESO have entered into a Protocol (pdf). Under the Protocol, the IESO's market assessment unit will continue to assist the Market Surveillance Panel, which is a Panel of the Ontario Energy Board.
The Protocol also provides for the Market Surveillance Panel to continue to assist and advise the IESO on various matters arising under the market rules and addresses issues relating to confidentiality and the exchange of information. The Protocol came into effect on April 25, 2005 for a period of one year. The Protocol was previously renewed for successive two-year or six-month terms, but as of May 1, 2017 it will be automatically renewed for successive two-year terms unless either Party gives notice of its intention not to renew.