Important Changes Coming to the Energy Consumer Protection Act

I am pleased to share that amendments to the Energy Consumer Protection Act (ECPA) will be coming into force on January 1, 2017.

Those of you who receive my monthly newsletter know that we have seen an increase in predatory door-to-door energy sales over the past two years. My office has worked diligently with constituents impacted to help them get out of contracts where they were pressured, or not given all the information before signing. Now, these amendments aimed at protecting consumers against aggressive sales tactics will improve the ability of consumers to make more informed choices about their energy purchases. Some of the key changes include:

⋅ Banning door-to-door sales of retail energy contracts and creating rules to   govern permissible marketing activity at the home of a consumer;

⋅Requiring that all retail energy contracts, including those entered into over the Internet, are subject to a standardized verification process;

⋅ Authorizing the Ontario Energy Board (OEB), through its codes/rules, to require that prices offered by retailers and marketers be determined in accordance with specific requirements;

⋅ Prohibiting sales agents selling energy retail contracts from being remunerated based on commissions;

⋅New cancellation provisions that will also allow consumers to cancel an energy contract 30 days after receiving their second bill, with no cost; and

⋅ Prohibiting auto-renewal for all energy contracts.

If you have any questions about the upcoming amendments, or if you would like to receive regular updates through my monthly newsletter please email cfife-co@ndp.on.ca.

Sincerely,

Catherine Fife, MPP
Kitchener-Waterloo