Energy Consumer Protection Act Proposed

Energy Consumer Protection Act Proposed

Postby CLS » Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:23 pm

As anyone who has encountered an energy re-biller knows, we are in desperate need of enhanced protections for consumers in this growing area that too-often finds unscrupulous salespeople preying on the poor, the elderly, the disabled, new immigrants, and those for whom something other than English or French is their first language. We are hopeful that the newly-proposed Energy Consumer Protection Act, 2009 will address and prevent the most egregious practices in this burgeoning industry. As an excerpt from the website of the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure ( http://www.mei.gov.on.ca/en/energy/ecpa/explains:

"Proposed Energy Consumer Protection Act, 2009

Ontario is proposing new rules that would provide additional protection for energy consumers and allow for greater energy conservation through suite metering.

The province introduced new legislation that would, if passed, lead to:

Protecting consumers from hidden contract costs, excessive cancellation fees, "negative-option" contract renewals, and other unfair industry practices.

Providing greater fairness and transparency for consumers through rate comparisons, plain language contract disclosure, enhanced rights to cancel contracts and a new licensing and training regime, including mandatory oral disclosure and ID badges.

Enabling individual suite metering in apartment buildings, which gives tenants more control over energy costs.

Granting the Ontario Energy Board more authority to set policies on security deposits and shutting off an individual’s electricity.

The proposed Energy Consumer Protection Act, 2009, would ensure Ontarians have the information they need about electricity contracts and bills, as well as the comfort of knowing they can rely on fair business practices. If passed, the proposed legislation would help families make wise and informed energy choices. Many of the provisions resulting from the proposed legislation, should it pass, would involve consultation and be set at a later date by regulation. "


We will be following the course of this legislation as it proceeds through the lawmaking process and post updates as they become available. Please also see our separate post regarding giving feedback on the proposed law.

Finally, if you would like more information regarding enerby re-billers in general, please check out the webinar that we have produced in conjunction with CLEONet, Hot Topics in Consumer Protection: Energy Re-billers, at: http://www.cleonet.ca/webinar_energy_rebilling.

Kathryn M. Bullon
Associate Legal Education Coordinator,
Community Law School
Kathryn M. Bullon, B.Sc., J.D., M.Ad.Ed.
Legal Education Co-Coordinator
Community Law School
CLS
Site Admin
 
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