In Ontario's Open Electricity Market, You're Free to Choose Your Supplier
As an electricity consumer in Ontario, you can choose to remain on the Regulated Price Plan or purchase your power through an electricity retailer. What works best for you depends on your preference – similar to choosing between a variable or fixed rate mortgage.
If you purchase your power through E.L.K., the prices on the “Electricity” line of your bill are set by the Ontario Energy Board every six months. At any time, the prices may be different than those offered by a retailer. Consumers who are comfortable with periodic changes in prices may choose to continue to purchase their electricity through their utility under the Regulated Price Plan.
A fixed price contract with an electricity retailer can let you know what you’ll pay for your electricity supply from month-to-month or year-to-year. Here are some key points to consider:
- Electricity retailers are independent businesses and are not part of E.L.K.
- You must be given a written copy of the contract within 40 days of the date you signed it. Read your contract carefully. Once you’ve signed and reaffirmed, you’re bound by the provisions in the contract.
- Once you get your copy of the contract, you have a 10-day “cooling off” period under the Consumer Protection Act if you choose to cancel your contract with the retailer.
- You must reaffirm your decision with the retailer. You may actively contact the retailer to reaffirm or the retailer may contact you. This step happens between the 10th and 60th day after receiving your copy of the contract. If you choose not to reaffirm, the contract ends on the 61st day after the date a copy of the contract was delivered to you.
- If you initiate the contract with a retailer, the cooling off period and reaffirmation provisions do not apply.
- Electricity contracts cannot be automatically renewed. Near the end of the term of your contract, the retailer may offer to renew your contract or to sign you to a new agreement. If you don’t wish to renew your contract or enter into a new contract, you don’t need to respond to the retailer’s offer.
- Take time to fully understand your options – don’t feel rushed or pressured.
When You Choose a Private Energy Retailer, This Is How It Works
Numerous companies have been licensed by the Ontario Energy Board to offer fixed rate, fixed term contracts to supply electricity. This competition gives you the opportunity to compare rates and offers and sign a contract with the electricity retailer of your choice.
Remember, electricity retailers are quoting only on the commodity price of electricity, which appears in the "Electricity Charge" portion of your bill. All the other regulated charges on your bill - including Delivery Charges, Regulatory Charges and Government Charges are not included in their rates.