In previous posts (found
here and here), we discussed the Ontario
Government's planned changes to the Energy Consumer
Protection Act, to be implemented through Bill 112. As recommended by the OEB , this legislation will
ban door-to-door sales of electricity and gas contracts, and will
extend the "cooling-off" period from 10 to 20 days and
add a verification requirement. Although Bill 112 has not yet been
passed (it's moving to the second reading stage), the
Government has now issued Notice of proposed amendments to the Regulation under the Energy Consumer
Protection Act. Interested parties are invited to submit
comments about the proposed amendments by October 14, 2015.
According to the Notice, the proposed amendments include:
Prohibiting the auto-renewal of gas
contracts (section 17)
Reducing the amount that electricity
retailers and gas marketers can charge to consumers for the
cancellation of a contract (section 23(1))
Allowing consumers to cancel a retail
energy contract without penalty after two billing cycles (section
Prescribing rules governing
door-to-door marketing and advertising activity, including (new
Allowing retailers to
market/advertise at the door only during prescribed times of the
Prohibiting retailers from leaving a
contract with a consumer at the door;
Limiting a retailer's ability to
make repeated unsolicited visits to a consumer's home;
Prohibiting retailers, as part of a
door-to-door interaction, from providing consumers with a gift card
or incentive for future redemption following entering into a
Prohibiting unsolicited door-to-door
marketing/advertising if there is a posted sign prohibiting the
Prohibiting all sales agents from
earning a commission based on volume of sales (new section)
Prescribing, as an unfair practice,
the repayment of a gift card or value of a bundled product if a
retail energy contract is cancelled (section 5)
On their face, these amendments each appear to make it more
difficult for energy retailers to maintain and grow their business
The Government's Notice also highlights two other changes to
be made to Regulations in support of other aspects of Bill 112,
beyond the changes to the Energy Consumer Protection
The first of these changes will repeal the Ranges of
Administrative Penalties schedule in the Administrative Penalties
Regulation under the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998. This
is intended to provide the OEB with more flexibility in determining
administrative penalties, which will now be increased to a maximum
of $1 million per day if Bill 112 passes.
The other proposed change would make the IESO the settlement
agent for the Rural or Remote Rate Protection (RRRP), allowing the
IESO to directly settle with non-Hydro One distributors. Hydro One
would continue for its Remote Communities and R2 customers.
Interestingly, the Government's Notice makes no mention of
changes to Regulations that might be needed to support other parts
of Bill 112 (such as changes to the consumer advocacy/intervenor
model, expansion of business activities by transmitters and
distributors and the extension of the OEB's emergency
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The Government of Alberta recently announced a number of policy changes that will impact the Alberta Electricity Market, composed of its generators, transmitters, distributors, retailers, electricity consumers and wholesale electricity market.
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