Ontario energy company to issue credits totalling more than $2.6M to customers
A thermostat can be seen above. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Published Tuesday, December 6, 2022 8:22PM EST
An Ontario energy company that was overcharging customers until earlier this year will provide one-time credits totalling more than $2.6 million, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has confirmed.
In a statement issued Tuesday evening, the OEB said it had accepted an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) from Elexicon Energy Inc., which serves approximately 173,000 customers in the Durham region area. An AVC is a binding written commitment to correct violations identified by a regulatory body.
“Under the terms of this AVC, Elexicon acknowledges that a billing system error resulted in customers across all rate classes being charged more than certain OEB-approved charges,” the statement said. The error was resolved in May, the board said.
Elexicon must pay a fine of $7,500 and provide credits totalling $2,658,000, the board said. To customers in its Veridian Rate Zone, the company must provide credit equivalent to four years of overcharges. Customers in its Whitby Rate Zone will receive credits for 15 months worth of overcharges.
The refunds will be issued through a one-time credit which will appear on customers’ bills within 90 days, it said.
The board says the error was discovered when it became aware of “a billing issue relating to the proration of certain charges” earlier this year. At that time, it requested all electricity distributors review their billing systems.
“Elexicon reviewed its billing system and reported that it had been incorrectly prorating its fixed monthly charges and as a result overcharged its customers,” the statement said.
“All licensed electricity distributors must be rigorous in applying OEB-approved rates and calculating accurate billing amounts for their customers,” Brian Hewson, vice-president of consumer protection at the OEB, said in the statement.
“Billing accuracy is foundational to customer trust and the OEB is assured that Elexicon has fixed this billing issue.”