Ontario Energy Board accepts Assurance of Voluntary Compliance from Orangeville Hydro

December 8, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

The Ontario Energy Board has accepted an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) from a licensed electricity distributor, Orangeville Hydro Limited.

Under the terms of this AVC, Orangeville Hydro acknowledges that a billing system error resulted in customers across all rate classes being charged more than certain Ontario Energy Board-approved charges.

As a result, Orangeville Hydro will pay an administrative monetary penalty of $5,000 and will provide a credit to its current customers.

More specifically, under the terms of the Assurance of Voluntary Compliance, Orangeville Hydro will provide a credit to current customers in an amount equivalent to four years of overcharges, totalling approximately $265,000. This will be paid through a one-time credit that will appear on customer bills within 90 days of the acceptance of this AVC by the OEB.

At that time, Orangeville Hydro will also provide an explanation to its customers in a form approved by the OEB.

The billing system error that gave rise to the overcharges was corrected by Orangeville Hydro for bills covering usage starting February 1, 2022.

“All licensed electricity distributors must be rigorous in applying OEB-approved rates and calculating accurate billing amounts for their customers,” said Brian Hewson, OEB vice-president of consumer protection and industry performance. “Billing accuracy is foundational to customer trust and the OEB is assured that OPUC has fixed this billing issue.”

Earlier this year, a billing issue relating to the proration of certain charges came to the OEB’s attention. The OEB asked all electricity distributors to review their billing systems and advise the OEB if customers were being overcharged as a result of this issue.

Orangeville Hydro reviewed its billing system and reported that it had been incorrectly prorating its fixed monthly charges and as a result, overcharged its customers.

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.

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