Ban on Disconnection of Homes this Winter for Customers of Electricity Distributors

Posted
November 29, 2018
Article Source
Ontario Energy Board

Information from the Ontario Energy Board (OEB): Once again, licensed electricity distributors are banned from disconnecting residential customers for non-payment during the winter. The ban is a result of a Decision and Order the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) issued on November 2, 2017.

Customers should note that they are responsible to pay their bill on time. We know that this can be a struggle for some.

If a customer is unable to pay a bill, the single most important thing to do is to stay in contact with the utility. And, to avoid a big bill at the end of the disconnection ban, customers should set up a payment plan with their utility and find out if they qualify for financial assistance as soon as possible.

A number of special programs are available in Ontario to help low-income energy consumers. Learn more at oeb.ca/BillHelp

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about the ban: 

What does this mean for customers? 

Electricity distributors are banned from disconnecting or threatening to disconnect residential customers for non-payment from November 15 to April 30 every year, and homes currently disconnected due to non-payment are required to be reconnected without charge. 

The OEB has also banned the use of load control devices on homes during the same period and required electricity distributors to remove existing devices on homes, again without charge. 

Electricity distributors are also not allowed to ask residential customers to pay account collection fees during the disconnection ban. If you have past due amounts on your bill the distributor may continue to charge late payment fees on these amounts.

What is a load control device? 

It is a device that limits how much power – or when power – goes to a home. Some electricity distributors use load control devices as an alternative to disconnection. 

Customers who wish to keep an existing load control device or have one installed may still ask their distributor if this service is available.

Read more: Ban on Disconnection of Homes this Winter for Customers of Electricity Distributors