Ontaio's New Energy Consumer Protection Act

Ontaio's New Energy Consumer Protection Act

Postby CLS » Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:06 pm

The new Energy Consumer Protection Act became effective on January 1, 2011. Directed primarily toward fraudulent and abusive energy rebillers, the Act strengthens protections for consumers and increases disclosure and other requirements for energy retailers. As explained on the website of the Ministry of Energy (http://www.mei.gov.on.ca/en/?page=ecpa):

"Protecting Energy Consumers

Ontario is helping protect electricity and natural gas consumers with new rules that put an end to unfair practices by energy retailers.

Many Ontarians have felt strong-armed by energy retailers into signing long-term contracts - without enough easy to understand information that helps them make informed decisions.

New rules will help protect you by ensuring you receive accurate information from energy retailers before you sign a contract. Staring January 1st, 2011 energy retailers will be required to:

* Disclose how the contract price they are offering compares to the price offered to you by the local utility.
* Provide training programs to their staff, in keeping with Ontario Energy Board standards, to ensure they know, understand and abide by the new rules.
* Offer cancellation without penalty in a number of circumstances, and limit the cancellation fees that retailers can charge you.

Know Your Rights

In the coming months the Ontario Energy Board will help educate Ontarians about these new rules. If you are considering signing a contract with an energy retailer, before the changes come into effect on January 1st, 2011, you should take steps to ask questions, compare prices and understand your options. Here are some things to consider before you sign a contract: http://www.oeb.gov.on.ca/OEB/."

Consumers and advocates are urged to familiarize themselves with the protections and requirements of the new Act, and to be extremely cautious if approached by an energy rebiller.

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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